State plans to cull wood bison herd

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says it will cull 10 older wood bison bulls from the herd kept at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage.

Division of Wildlife Conservation Regional Supervisor David James says in an announcement that the herd must be kept at 135 animals. That’s the level that can be supported by pastures.

The state hopes to reintroduce wood bison into the wild but their status as an endangered species has held up the restoration program.

The state-owned herd produced 35 calves this year. The state hopes to limit that to 10 calves next year.

Animals targeted for culling will be bulls past prime breeding age.

Meat from culled animals will be donated to charities, a requirement of federal and state regulations.