Get up close and personal with a rare herd of genetically pure bison

If you give a bison a treat, it's going to come back for more. Courtesy Jacy Marmaduke/The Coloradoan

FORT COLLINS COLORADOAN - If you give a bison a treat, it’s going to come back for more.

Dr. Jennifer Barfield knows that better than anyone. The director of Colorado State University's bison reproduction program makes the 30-some-mile trek to Soapstone Prairie Natural Area near the Colorado-Wyoming border once a week to check on Northern Colorado’s only genetically pure bison herd.

She usually comes stocked with protein-packed range cubes, so the naturally curious and ever-peckish bison have learned to greet her white Mazda with enthusiasm.

On a recent Coloradoan visit to check out the bison at Soapstone, Barfield’s car was surrounded in minutes — once we managed to track down the herd among the 1,000 acres of prairie, that is.

More than a year and a half after the release of 10 bison onto a fenced pasture in the city-managed Soapstone Natural Area and connecting county-managed Red Mountain Open Space, the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd has grown to 33 members. Fourteen of the new additions were calves from natural mating, while others joined the herd by way of the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Read more at the Fort Collins Coloradoan: http://noconow.co/2sxWgJa

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