SHAGELUK, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska State Troopers say a wood bison has been illegally shot and killed near the village of Shageluk. It’s the third time an animal has been killed since the herd was introduced into the area in 2015.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says the cow died March 30 after local villagers had reported that it appeared to be sick or injured for several days near the village.
ADF&G allowed villagers to salvage the meat but “noted trauma to the digestive tract of the animal and recovered a bullet.” According to troopers, it appears the wood bison was shot with a medium caliber pistol round.
“Currently, it is illegal to hunt wood bison. Hunting will be allowed when the herd increases to a number that allows a harvestable surplus,” write troopers.
In a dispatch posted online, AST wrote about the importance of introducing wood bison for the long-term survival of the species. “Wood bison restoration could result in many benefits to Alaska’s people, including providing an additional source of food, along with supporting businesses for hunting and tourism.”