Wildlife Management - Raising Wild Animals
Returning the Animals
Fourteen bison were shipped to the preserve from the New York Zoological Society in 1913. In 1914, 14 Rocky Mountain elk from Yellowstone National Park and 13 pronghorn antelope from Alberta, Canada were added to complete the prairie scene.
Learning to Manage Wildlife
Because the practice of raising wild game animals under semi-natural conditions was relatively new, A.P. Chambers, the first warden of the preserve, experienced many challenges creating healthy, wild herds.
The bison and elk survived with very little trouble. They quickly adapted to the park area and by 1920, the bison reached a population of 100 and the elk, 200. To keep the herd sizes in balance with the range, managers culled animals by selling them or moving them to other preserves.
Challenges with the Pronghorn
Raising pronghorn antelope was, perhaps, A.P Chambers greatest challenge. These curious little animals seemed to die for no apparent reason.
For more information about the return of the wildlife to Wind Cave National Park select from the listings below:
Did You Know?
Winds caused by changes in barometric pressure are what give Wind Cave its name. These winds have been measured at the cave's walk-in entrance at over 70 mph. The winds at the natural entrance of the cave attracted the attention of Native Americans and early settlers.