Bison moved out of local park due to drought

November 2, 2011 10:04:18 AM PDT
Authorities in northeast Harris County have loaded up and moved out 11 bison that have called Deussen Park home for decades.

The animals are headed to their new home at a ranch near the Oklahoma border.

Since the Texas drought started, this park alone has lost 1,000 trees and that's part of the reason the bison are leaving today.

The bison have been here at Deussen Park in northeast Harris County for almost 40 years and they were rounded up Wednesday morning because of drought conditions which make it too tough for the animals to stay here.

The county spends about $8,500 a year to care for these animals and the cost of feed and hay is increasing in these dry conditions.

The bison are headed to north Texas to the Medicine Mound Ranch in Hardeman County near Wichita Falls courtesy of the Summerlee Foundation. There are 71 other bison already on that land, along with other wildlife.

"As you can see, the ground has very little grass and we just need to get a better place for them," said Paul Mauricio, representative with Harris Co. Precinct One.

"It's been difficult really on all animals in Texas, on all livestock it's been just a horrible year. And so it's required us to have additional food stock as well as sources of water, and it will continue I think into this next year, but we're prepared," said John Crain with the Summerlee Foundation.

We asked Mauricio if he thought the animals would return to Deussen Park, and he said not in his lifetime.

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