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Twenty-three donated bison roaming in Mexico's northern Chihuahua state

November 27, 2009 |  5:53 pm

Twenty-three donated bison were released in Mexico's northern state of Chihuahua as part of an effort to have at least 100 of the animals roaming the country within three years, officials said Friday. 

Large herds of bison once existed in parts of northern Mexico and their return could help regenerate natural grassland in the Rancho El Uno nature reserve, said Environment Secretary Juan Elvira Quesada, according to news reports.

Quesada called on the U.S. to stop building border fences that can disrupt the natural migration routes of animals, the Associated Press reported.

The 23 bison, which came from Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota, are part of a cooperative between the two countries to restore bison to their historical range in Mexico, officials said.

"It's a great day for the conservation world," Wind Cave superintendent Vidal Davila said late last month when plans to move the bison were announced. "This project will help conserve bison to a greater degree by having another satellite herd in Mexico, where bison are classified as an endangered wildlife species."

-- Efrain Hernandez Jr.