|Bison in One of the Holding Pens Awaiting Their Turns Through the Chute|
|Bison in one of the Holding Pens|
|A Bull Awaiting His Turn Through The Chute|
As each animal moves through the process, it makes its way through a series of gated holding pens and into the chute. One-by-one each animal moves through the chute until it is its turn to see the vet. Upon arrival at the final stop in the chute, each animal is looked over by the vet and his assistants. Blood is drawn for testing and notes are made as to the animal's general appearance, as to whether it's a male or a female, if there are any distinguishing marks or features, etc. and the animal's tag numbers are noted. If there is no tag, a new tag is issued. This helps those of us who work with the animals to know and keep track of the general history of each individual animal that resides within the park. It is at this time, too, that the decision is made as whether to keep each animal or to sell it. A small number of animals are sold each year at a public auction in order to keep the number of animals on the park in check.
|A Bull Bison Coming Out of the Chute|
I don't know if working the bison can really be considered one of the "joys" of autumn, but it certainly is an annual event that I look forward to in the sense that it is a really neat time to observe these magnificent animals up close and personal. I'm always glad when it's over, too, and the animals are once again released out onto their prairie home.
Until next time...