HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- Nearly 50 of the 88 bison that have been held in a quarantine compound outside Yellowstone National Park have been loaded in large stock trailers for the two-hour ride to their new home on Ted Turner's ranch.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim says the agency and Turner Enterprises reached an agreement late Tuesday for Turner to house and care for the bison and their offspring for the next five years on a 12,000-acre fenced section of his Flying D ranch south of Bozeman.

Ranch manager Russ Miller said the first three trailers, carrying 48 head, left the quarantine compound near Gardiner shortly before noon Wednesday. He said he expected it would take another three trailers to haul the rest of the herd.

Under the agreement with FWP, Turner Enterprises will return to the original bison and 25 percent of their offspring to the state. TEI will be allowed to keep 75 percent of the offspring in exchange for caring for the animals.

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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