Bison herd in northwest Missouri gets annual checkup

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 | 4:07 p.m. CDT

EAGLEVILLE — A herd of bison in northwest Missouri will have its daily life recorded as part of a National Geographic pilot program.

Two bison in a herd in northern Harrison County were outfitted with "Crittercams" on Tuesday by a National Geographic photographer and videographer. The goal is to record such things as what the animals eat and how they interact with one another.

Greg Marshall of National Geographic joked that he hoped the video showed more than grass when he retrieves the cameras in two weeks, The St. Joseph News-Press reported.

"I like to tell people my expectations are 'measured,'" Marshall said. "We don't know how they're going to handle it. This is a big, powerful animal."

Crittercams have been placed on 70 species, including lions in Kenya, tortoises in Galapagos and a variety of whales and sharks.

The cameras were attached during an annual roundup to check the health of 57 bison — 17 calves and 40 adults — in the herd on the Dunn Ranch Prairie.

In addition to receiving vaccines and other treatments, some of the animals were fitted with GPS tracking collars and new members of the herd were given ear tags and chips so workers can identify them.

The Nature Conservancy, Missouri Department of Conservation, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and other workers conducted the roundup.

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