A group of bison — the formidable giant mammal that once roamed the American plains by the millions before being driven nearly to extinction — returned last week to a section of Badlands National Park in which they had not been seen in nearly 150 years.
The bison were released by park officials into an area of the country in which they had not been since 1870, according to video posted by a park official. The area is fenced in to separate the animals from domestic cattle.
Around 1,200 of the bison now live in the park. At their height, American bison numbered about 30 million. They were nearly destroyed as a species by overhunting beginning in the 19th century, at one point numbering just 1,000 individual animals. Through conservation efforts there are now about 500,000 bison in the country.