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Bison are collected in open corrals at the Stephens Creek Bison Capture Facility in 2015

CASEY PAGE, Gazette Staff

BOZEMAN — Yellowstone National Park officials say rangers arrested two people who were trying to chain themselves to a corral where wild bison are held.

A third person was arrested for entering the closed area, park spokeswoman Vicki Regula said later Tuesday.

The arrest of two people early Tuesday was first reported by the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Spokeswoman Morgan Warthin said the investigation is being handled by the National Park Service, but she declined to identify the people arrested.

The people arrested appear to be affiliated with an advocacy group called Wild Buffalo Defense and seek to draw attention to the slaughter of bison.

The two suspects who apparently chained themselves to the Stephens Creek corrals, located just west of Gardiner inside the park boundaries, were spotted Tuesday morning by park rangers, Warthin told The Gazette. They were arrested for violating an annual closure order in place for the Stephens Creek area in which the corrals are located, she said.

"We know that the two individuals were basically attempting to chain themselves to a corral at the facility," Warthin said.

The corrals are where bison are held when they are captured leaving the park. Some are shipped to slaughter to reduce the herd's size and over concerns of disease spread.

As of the most recent report published last month by the park service, the about 600 bison are contained within the corral.

Bison escaped from the corals in January through a cut fence and again in February when someone opened a pen.

Regula told The Gazette there are security measures in place at the corral, but declined to provide any specifics.