VALENTINE, Nebr. (KNOP) - Hundreds of bison bound for auction were rounded up at Nebraska's Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge on Monday.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials gathered in the morning hours Monday for the annual roundup.
"We got the bison moved into what we call a windmill pasture and they all moved in really well," says Steve Hicks,the Fort Niobrara-Valentine Project Leader.
It's a process that began last week.
"We took the animals out of what we call an exhibition pasture and put them with the main herd. So this morning we were all ready to go," says Hicks.
Monday, about a head of 400 were corralled, 50 of which will be sorted off for additional health checks.
"We check for parasites and the new animals that come in we do genetic testing on all of the calves so that way we can maintain a diverse and genetic group as possibly as we can," said Hicks.
They'll later be sold at auction.
"So that we can keep the grasslands balanced and in healthy condition and actually feed these animals. The grass only grows so fast and we got only so much land so you have to call the herd back every year," said Hicks. "We don't push our rangelands that hard and so with the number of bison that we keep we were able to still maintain really healthy range conditions. And it's a really neat opportunity for the public to come and watch and you can really get up close and personal with some bison where normally they'd be quite a ways off,".