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The Nation | IN BRIEF / AND FINALLY . . .

Where's the Beef? Not in Yellowstone's Bison

April 25, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Genetically speaking, bison in Yellowstone National Park are the pure stuff, a Texas geneticist says. But most of the bison in North America are part beef cow.

"A whole lot of bison out there have cattle genes," said James Derr of the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.

Of the estimated 300,000 bison living in North America, only about 15,000 live in herds that Derr has found to be genetically pure.

Derr said bison recovery from the handful of animals that survived the slaughter of the 19th century, even with just 15,000 of them considered pure, "is still a pretty good success story."

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