CUSTER STATE PARK, S.D. (KELO) — It was the 55th year for the annual Governor’s Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park this week.
Friday, there were around 60 cowboys and cowgirls rounding up about 1,450 bison. This year’s round up included bison bulls, bison cows, and bison calves all in the mix.
Kobee Stalder, the visitor services manager, says this year has the largest number of animals at Custer State Park in the last 10 years. Stalder also says the roundup gives park employees a chance to check on the bison.
The nearly 1,450 bison were moved across the park into a corral. Visitors had the chance to watch as state park officials brand, pregnancy test, and health check all of the bison.
Stalder says this year’s roundup appears to be just as popular as last year when more than 19,000 people came to watch the event.
“It doesn’t matter if a hundred people or 20,000 people show up. We put on this event just because it is a critical herd management tool and the bonus factor is that people from across the country get to witness it,” Stalder said.
The Buffalo Roundup Art Festival started Thursday and will continue through Saturday. Custer State Park officials say people are encouraged to social distance and there will be hand sanitizer stations near public restrooms. Visitors are welcome to wear masks, but it is not mandatory.