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-  A bison preserve  (© Conor Barry/Aurora Photos)

Once 60 million strong, by 1893, bison were nearly wiped out from the North American plains. Meanwhile, Antelope Island in Utah’s Great Salt Lake was privately owned. The island’s owner decided to bring 12 bison to the island in hopes of repopulating the area and opening it up to hunting. But the project failed, and without wolves on the island, the bison had no natural predators, so the herd thrived. (Incidentally, the antelope brought to the island did not survive a similar effort.) Today, the herd roams here, protected as one of the attractions at Antelope Island State Park. Happy Bison Day!