The bison circled four times around the holding pen, before the lead animals took them into the 3,400-hectare (8,500-acre) pasture, their new home on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in the U.S. state of South Dakota. The thunder of 400 hooves as they crossed through the gate gave way to the whir of cameras and ululations from the crowd, perhaps 20 people gathered to see the return of the bison. Out in their new pasture, the animals loped, moving in unison as if one organism. Then, they slowed and wheeled to the left against a backdrop of a few lonely trees on a blanket of tan grass stretching to distant hills. They seem to fit into the landscape, as if they’d always been there and always would be. It was land where their ancestors had run for thousands of years, where they had been central to the success of the Great Plains’ nations, anchoring their cultures, prescribing their movements and filling their bellies. “Bringing them home. That’s what it meant,” said Monica Terkildsen, a member of the Oglala Lakota and WWF’s tribal liaison on the neighboring Pine Ridge Reservation, who was at the Oct. 30 release. “You just have a peaceful feeling,” Terkildsen said. “That means that you don’t have to worry about hunger, you don’t have to worry about inadequate housing … all these worries that come with oppression and poverty.” At their peak, an estimated 30 million bison grazed North America’s Great Plains, the region that drapes the center…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer