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Herd Of Bison Set To Move Into Prairie Near Chicago

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JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — Within three to five years, a herd of 75 bison may be moving into the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie about an hour southwest of Chicago.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, National Forest Foundation president Bill Posseil says the plan is for 75 bison at first, and ultimately possibly 1,000, once prairie supervisors figure how best to maintain them.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

“They’ve been known to run 35 to 50 miles an hour. They can jump six feet,” Posseil said.

He says that will require some serious containment around several thousand acres.

“A very sturdy 10 to 12-foot fence will be required,” he said.

Posseil estimates it will cost $10 million dollars a year over the next 10 years for complete restoration of all 20,000 acres of the prairie, which is located on Interstate 55 just outside Joliet.

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