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Pregnant heifers, breeding bulls for sale in Custer State Park buffalo auction

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CUSTER (AP) -- Bison buyers are set to descend on western South Dakota's Custer State Park.

The park's annual buffalo auction is Saturday and features a sales list that includes 43 2-year-old pregnant heifers, and another three that aren't pregnant. Sixty-two bull calves also are for sale.

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They're among the 256 bison to be sold starting at 10 a.m. MST to buyers nationwide. The goal is to thin the park's herd, which officials say is especially important after a mild winter and dry summer left the grassland parched and at risk for over-grazing.

Park Resource Program Manager Gary Brundige says that officials decided to sell more animals than initially planned because of the summer's drought.

The auction follows September's jaw-dropping, internationally famed buffalo stampede that draws thousands of spectators.

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