BANDELIER NATIONAL MONUMENT, N.M. (AP) -- Officials at Bandelier National Monument have removed five unbranded, untagged feral bulls from the northern New Mexico monument.

Monument Superintendent Jason Lott says having cattle anywhere within the monument's boundaries conflicts with Bandelier's mandate to protect cultural and natural resources and provide for enjoyable hiking experiences.

He says the bulls had been moving between the Falls Trail and Alamo Canyon. The animals were aggressive toward hikers and were trampling the vegetation in riparian areas.

The monument decided to remove the bulls after consulting with the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Board and gathering comments from the public.

Lott says it will continue to be a priority at Bandelier to keep feral cattle out of the monument.

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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