Biologists seek to restore Alaska's wood bison herds

New wood bison arrive in Anchorage
New wood bison arrive in Anchorage Stephen Nowers / Anchorage Daily News

Pelted with fat drops of rain in a grassy field not far from Portage Glacier, a chocolate-brown wood bison shook its coat like a wet dog, flinging water in all directions.

It was a scene straight out of Alaska's distant past. And, biologists hope, its near future.

Bison lived in Alaska for more than 400,000 years but then disappeared in a drought spurred by changing habitat and hunting, biologists say. Wood bison -- a tall, rangy subspecies well suited to the cold -- haven't been seen here for roughly 100 years or more, according to Fish and Game.

Now they're back.

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