What do you get when you cross a bison with beef cattle?
Something that is wreaking havoc in the Grand Canyon area.
It's called a Beefalo. The breed was developed to produce low-fat meat with an animal that can endure harsh winters. This new animal is good for our nutrition, but not so good for the Grand Canyon. They have become more than a nuisance. The beefalo eat the vegetation, damage historical sites, and pollute the lakes. The problem is particularly bad in some areas where all plant life has been eaten down to nubs, with only inches protruding from the ground.
According to a report in the Christian Science Monitor, around 350 beefalo have now set up home inside the park. "Federal and state officials are looking at methods to manage the estimated 350-450 bison in a way that rids them from the park and allows for a free-ranging population that can be hunted on nearby forest land. "
The Park is asking for public input. Public meetings to discuss what to do with the beefalo are scheduled for April 28 in Kanab, Utah; April 29 in Flagstaff; and April 30 in Phoenix. A couple of online meetings also are planned.
More Information About Beefalo and Their Breeding
Beefalo are able to perspire, so they are able to handle hot weather. Because of the increased fur, they are also able to thrive in extreme cold environments. The animals have a higher fertility rate and can bear young at an earlier age than traditional beef cattle.
Beefalo meat has more nutrients, more protein, and less fat than traditional beef.