Denver Bison Herd Evolving back to Ancestry

courtesy of the Denver Post
by Bruce Finley

Denver’s expanding municipal herd of bison, bred from ancestors domesticated after commingling with cattle, shows signs of reverting to its roots.

The evidence from DNA tests, wild appearance and behavior delights conservationists. Some now seek a federal “endangered” designation to bolster the nation’s purest bison.

Both Denver bulls who lead the herd at the Interstate 70 Genesee Park overlook proved free of cattle genetic markers in testing begun last year.

Bison calves increasingly are born with prominent humps on their backs, distinct from flat- backed cattle. About 30 are expected this spring.

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