Bison disappeared from Illinois and much of the land east of the Mississippi in the 1830s, victims of hunting and mass slaughter which nearly wiped out the entire population of them throughout the United States. U.S. conservation efforts began about 1900 and is now estimated to be 450,000.
The Nachusa bison have not been interbred with cattle and are genetically diverse and direct descendants of the original ones. They are touched by human hands only once a year for a veterinary checkup.
Nachusa's visitors have increased tenfold and they often get requests as to where the buffalo are. The 500 acres they usually roam is closed to the public, but they sometimes go to other sites in the grasslands.
A Great Story. --RoadDog
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