CUSTER, S.D. — In anticipation of the 55th Annual Governor’s Buffalo Roundup Friday morning, park officials are solidifying last minute details to ensure the safety of riders, attendees and the buffalo.
60 cowboys and cowgirls on horseback will be tasked with moving 1,400 bison into corrals, of which 75 of them will be examined for an overall wellness exam, including pregnancies and vaccinations.
“It’s important to vaccinate the herd because we don’t want any sickness really to break out here within our bison, and so they’ll get a bangs vaccination, the females. That’s to help so they don’t get Brucellosis. Brucellosis is a disease that causes females to abort, you know, it infects bison. It can also affect elk,” said Resource Program Manager for Custer State Park Mark Hendrix.
It’s been a very busy season for the park since April. Tens of thousands are expected to be in the crowd to revisit the ways of the old west.
Lydia Austin, Interpretive Program Manager for Custer State Park, says an inevitable wait time is expected.
“If you come down, have a dose of patience, a smile, be ready for a wait,” said Austin. “We do have a traffic jam. We’re parking everybody on the prairie. We’ll get everybody parked and we’ll move the buffalo, and then again, that dose of patience as everybody moves out. It’s worth it. It’s a good time.”
As always, officials want to remind the public to keep a safe distance from the bison.
“We do have our painted buffalo still in town so if you want to get a selfie with a buffalo that is the safe way to do it,” says Dolsee Davenport, Executive Director of Custer Chamber of Commerce
The roundup will begin at 9:30 a.m. Parking lots will open at 6:15 a.m. in both viewing areas.