El Reno's Buffalo Herd To Be Moved To Tribal Land

Monday, October 30th 2006, 6:20 am
By: News On 6

EL RENO, Okla. (AP) -- An El Reno official wants a home for a herd of city-owned buffalo to roam.

The bison are descendants of a herd which, along with longhorn cattle, zebras, donkeys and deer, were a roadside attraction along old Route 66. The city sold the other animals, but the buffalo remain on 15 acres on the west side of Lake El Reno.

City Finance Manager Ruth Beal says the nourishing native grasses the herd needs to survive are all but gone.

In steps the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribe, which has 1,200 acres of land near Concho that is home to a buffalo program.

Program director Christopher Yellow Eagle says the tribe plans to release the El Reno herd with its 215 head on land west of US Highway 81 north of the city.

Yellow Eagle said buffalo meat is healthy to eat, and ranching buffalo for food will sustain the program.

The city council will vote on whether to donate the herd at its November 7th meeting.