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Bison await shipment to slaughter after being processed and tested for brucellosis by Park Service employees at the Stephens Creek facility, located at the northern edge of Yellowstone National Park. Photo credit: Michelle McCarron

Under continued pressure from Montana livestock interests, Yellowstone National Park is sending hundreds of America's last wild buffalo—the National Mammal of the U.S.—to slaughter.

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Three wildlife groups sued the federal government Tuesday, asking for the Yellowstone bison to be listed as a threatened or endangered species in order to protect the iconic animals from hunting and prescribed culling. Currently, park officials manage the population to about 4,000 animals using these methods. The population now numbers about 4,500.

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