WARNING ... This Video Will Break Your Heart: 150 Wild Buffalo Captured at Yellowstone

By Stephany Seay

Last week's report and photos about what we, and the buffalo, experienced during the two-day media tour of Yellowstone's bison trap could barely scratch the surface of the horrible things we witnessed. This video footage will bring you much closer.

On March 8 and March 9, Yellowstone National Park organized a media tour of their Stephens Creek bison trap, where 150 wild buffalo were being held captive for slaughter and potentially quarantine. All of what you see taking place here is paid for with your federal tax dollars. Some of the footage was shot by Buffalo Field Campaign's Mike Mease and some was captured by the park service's GoPro cameras.

Inside Yellowstone's Stephens Creek bison trap. Photo credit: Stephany Seay / Buffalo Field Campaign

One hundred fifty of America's last wild buffalo were run through the gauntlet of Yellowstone's Stephens Creek capture facility; 93 buffalo were shipped to slaughter by the InterTribal Buffalo Council and the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes, both of which are signatories to the Interagency Bison Management Plan. Another 57 buffalo—all orphaned calves and yearlings—are still being held in the trap.

Every person working at the trap is employed by Yellowstone National Park. The Montana Department of Livestock has Yellowstone trained so well, that the department isn't even present except when escorting buffalo to the slaughterhouses. These acts by Yellowstone National Park are horrific and criminal. There should not even be such a facility inside the world's first national park, much less anywhere else. There is no justification for the park service to commit these atrocities.

Yellowstone justifies its actions under the banner of the Interagency Bison Management Plan, which it could pull out of anytime. They may face a lawsuit by livestock interests if they did so, but, so what? So much new information has come to light, so much change has come to the landscape and such a groundswell of public support has emerged for wild, migratory buffalo, that a lawsuit might be hugely beneficial. The callous behavior of Yellowstone park rangers and biologists who are harming the buffalo reveals the gross disconnect that these people have from the sacred beings whom they are charged with protecting, and how wantonly they are willing to betray, not only their mission, but the sacred buffalo that the whole world expects them to protect.

WARNING: This video will break your heart. After watching it, you'll want to do something. Here are a few suggestions: Share this video with everyone you know, send it to your local and regional media, and share it with the White House and your members of Congress. Tell them to visit Buffalo Field Campaign to learn more.

Many thanks to the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the rest of our stellar legal team who made this media tour possible by representing journalist Christopher Ketcham and me in a lawsuit to gain full access to the trap. Showing the world even this brief glimpse of what Yellowstone is doing to the beloved buffalo—in service of Montana cattle ranchers—will bring us that much closer to putting an end to this madness, and bringing this trap down.


Rescued Chimp Who Lived Alone for 18 Years Won't Stop Holding Hands With New Friend

Want to Swim With Dolphins? Read This First

Love Wildlife? Check Out These 11 Stunning Photos From Yellowstone National Park

5 Species Bouncing Back From the Brink of Extinction

Show Comments ()
Marine debris laden beach in Hawaii. NOAA Marine Debris Program / Flickr

Ocean Plastic Projected to Triple Within Seven Years

If we don't act now, plastic pollution in the world's oceans is projected to increase three-fold within seven years, according to a startling new report.

The Future of the Sea report, released Wednesday for the UK government, found that human beings across the globe produce more than 300 million metric tons of plastic per year. Unfortunately, a lot of that material ends up in our waters, with the total amount of plastic debris in the sea predicted to increase from 50 million metric tons in 2015 to 150 million metric tons by 2025.

Keep reading... Show less
Thawing permafrost in Noatak National Preserve, Alaska. NPS Climate Change Response

Methane Meltdown: Thawing Permafrost Could Release More Potent Greenhouse Gas Than Expected

A study published in Nature Climate Change Monday shows that thawing permafrost in the Arctic might produce more methane than previously thought. Methane has 28 times the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of carbon dioxide, so the findings indicate scientists might have to reassess how thawing permafrost will contribute to climate change.

Keep reading... Show less
Solar shade canopies. University of Hawaii

This College Could Become the First 100% Renewable Campus in U.S.

As a growing number of U.S. cities make pledges towards 100 percent renewables, it's easy to forget that the entire state of Hawaii set this important benchmark three years ago when it mandated that all of its electricity must come from renewable sources no later than 2045.

To help the Aloha State meet this ambitious commitment, in 2015, the University of Hawaii (UH) and the Hawaiian Legislature set a collective goal for the university system to be "net-zero" by Jan. 1, 2035, which means the total amount of energy consumed is equal to the amount of renewable energy created.

Keep reading... Show less

Silver Nanoparticles in Clothing Wash Out, May Be Toxic

By Sukalyan Sengupta and Tabish Nawaz

Humans have known since ancient times that silver kills or stops the growth of many microorganisms. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is said to have used silver preparations for treating ulcers and healing wounds. Until the introduction of antibiotics in the 1940s, colloidal silver (tiny particles suspended in a liquid) was a mainstay for treating burns, infected wounds and ulcers. Silver is still used today in wound dressings, in creams and as a coating on medical devices.

Keep reading... Show less
4.4 million premature air pollution deaths could be avoided in Kolkata if emissions are reduced swiftly this century. M M / CC BY-SA 2.0

Study Finds Timely Emissions Reductions Could Prevent 153 Million Air Pollution Deaths This Century

One of the roadblocks to swift action on climate change is the human brain's tendency to focus on threats and stimuli that are an obvious and noticeable part of their everyday lives, rather than an abstract and future problem, as Amit Dhir explained in The Decision Lab.

Now, a study published in Nature Climate Change Monday shows that acting quickly to curb greenhouse gas emissions would also reduce the air pollution that is already a major urban killer, thereby saving millions of lives within the next 40 years.

Keep reading... Show less
Lands threatened by BLM's March 2018 sale include Hatch Point. Neal Clark / SUWA

Trump Administration Sells Oil and Gas Leases Near Utah National Monuments

The Interior Department on Tuesday is auctioning off 32 parcels of public lands in southeastern Utah for oil and gas development.

The Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) lease sale includes more than 51,000 acres of land near Bears Ears—the national monument significantly scaled back by the Trump administration last year—as well as the Hovenweep and Canyons of the Ancients monuments.

Keep reading... Show less
Katharine Hayhoe talks climate communication hacks at the Natural Products Expo West Convention. Climate Collaborative

Katharine Hayhoe Reveals Surprising Ways to Talk About Climate Change

By Katie O'Reilly

Katharine Hayhoe isn't your typical atmospheric scientist. Throughout her career, the evangelical Christian and daughter of missionaries has had to convince many (including her pastor husband) that science and religion need not be at odds when it comes to climate change. Hayhoe, who directs Texas Tech's University's Climate Science Center, is CEO of ATMOS Research, a scientific consulting company, and produces the PBS Kids' web series Global Weirding, rose to national prominence in early 2012 after then-presidential candidate Newt Gingrich dropped her chapter from a book he was editing about the environment. The reason? Hayhoe's arguments affirmed that climate change was no liberal hoax. The Toronto native attracted the fury of Rush Limbaugh, who encouraged his listeners to harass her.

Keep reading... Show less
Rising Tide NA / Twitter

Kinder Morgan Pipeline Protest Grows: Arrests Include a Greenpeace Founder, Juno-Nominated Grandfather

By Andy Rowell

Just because you get older, it doesn't mean you cannot stop taking action for what you believe in. And Monday was a case in point. Two seventy-year-olds, still putting their bodies on the line for environmental justice and indigenous rights.

Early Monday morning, the first seventy-year-old, a grandfather of two, and former nominee for Canada's Juno musical award, slipped into Kinder Morgan's compound at one of its sites for the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline and scaled a tree and then erected a mid-air platform with a hammock up in the air.

Keep reading... Show less


The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!