Bison from troubled S.D. ranch sold at auctionThousands of bison from a troubled herd on the North Dakota-South Dakota border have been released from impoundment, and about 850 were sold at auction over the weekend.
MOBRIDGE, S.D. (AP) — Thousands of bison from a troubled herd on the North Dakota-South Dakota border have been released from impoundment, and about 850 were sold at auction over the weekend.
The animals belonging to real estate developer Maurice Wilder of Clearwater, Fla., fetched about $1.5 million on Saturday in Mobridge, The Bismarck Tribune reported. Wilder, 71, was in attendance but declined an interview.
As many as 6,000 of Wilder’s bison were impounded in early February. The ranch for years has sparked complaints about bison running loose and causing problems for neighbors, as well as complaints of alleged animal abuse and neglect.
The impoundment was lifted Friday and a court order contains conditions for the care of the bison, including that Wilder pay for periodic animal inspections, according to the Tribune. Corson County Sheriff Keith Gall said Wilder has paid $54,000 to cover the impoundment costs and owes another $3,000 to be paid by Friday.
The auction sale was not part of the impoundment release orders and was organized by Wilder and not the county, Gall said. However, the order does stipulate that the rest of the county’s bill be paid from the proceeds.
“I’d like to see more animals reduced, but it’s a start,” Gall said.
Opinions differed about the condition of the bison sold on Saturday.
“I think their condition is really good,” said Shane Gunderson, of Baldwin, N.D., who bought more than 600 of the animals. “I think a lot of the press was overdone.”
Bruce Anderson, owner of Western Buffalo Co., of Rapid City, said the animals’ condition “could be better, without doubt.”
“Everybody knows that and hopes (Wilder) takes the situation and makes it better,” Anderson said.