Windows Into Wonderland
Three photos -Bison hair caught on a branch, a radio collar, and a man holding a tracking antennae.
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Where the Bison Roam

Act 1,  Scene 2,  Page 10 of 47

Inspector
But. . .but. . . but. . . Yellowstone is the size of the state of Connecticut! How in the world could you possibly hope to follow a single bison?

Bill
It was necessary to tranquilize the animal for a short period of time so we could take samples of her hair and blood, and attach a radio collar around her neck. This fancy necklace sent out a signal that we detected using a special receiver and antennae, so it wasn’t necessary to have her in direct sight all the time.

Inspector
And it actually worked?

Bill (laughs)
Sure. The signal sounded like a series of beeps. The beeps grew louder when the antenna was pointed in the direction of the collar or when we were close to it. I wouldn’t say it was easy to trail Rosie, as we started calling the bison; but it was possible.

After we had attached the collar, we stuck around long enough to be sure Rosie was fully recovered from the tranquilizer. Then we headed home for the night. We were confident we could pick up her trail the next day.

Glossary
tranquilize— to make calm or tranquil, usually with medication
radio collar—a device placed around an animal's neck; used by biologists to track wildlife.

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