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City and County of Denver Raises $40,050 for Bison Conservation at 2020 Auction

Today, the City and County of Denver hosted its 35th annual Bison Auction at Genesee Park, auctioning off 35 young bison from Genesee Park and Daniels Park to support bison conservation and education efforts.

This year’s event raised $40,050. The two highest priced bison were both 10-month old males from the Daniels Park herd, weighing 572 lbs. and 556 lbs. and selling for $1,550 each. The Daniels Park Bison generated $21,575 and the Genesee herd generated $18,475. The annual auction keeps the herd at a healthy population size and promotes genetic diversity within the managed bison population. 

This year’s sale will leave 33 adult bison in the Genesee herd and 30 at Daniels Park for public viewing. Funds from the sale will help offset the costs of general herd management and winter feeding, and will assist Denver Parks and Recreation in maintaining infrastructure and conducting public outreach and education in its Mountain Park system.

Denver Parks and Recreation maintains two conservation bison herds in the Denver Mountain Parks system at Genesee Park and Daniels Park.  The herds are descended from the last wild bison in North America and were originally established at Denver’s City Park by the Denver Zoo and the City of Denver.  The herd was moved to Genesee Park in 1914 and expanded to Daniels Park in 1938. The conservation partnership between the Denver Zoo and Denver Parks and Recreation continues to this day. 

Denver Mountain Parks began caring for the first managed bison herd in Colorado in an effort to conserve the species and prevent extinction.  Herds that numbered more than 30 million when the first European explorers set foot on the American continent were nearly wiped out by the 1880s. At the turn of the 20th century, fewer than 1,000 bison remained in existence. Today it is estimated that there are roughly 500,000 bison in North America.