BILLINGS, Mont. — Five American Indian groups from Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota are in the running to receive a small herd of bison that was spared from a capture and slaughter program at Yellowstone National Park.

The herd of 40 bison has been kept under quarantine for three years to ensure the animals don't have the livestock disease brucellosis. Most bison attempting to migrate outside the park are slaughtered to prevent the disease's spread to cattle.

The quarantined herd is part of an experimental program to restore bison across parts of the West where they once flourished.

The five groups seeking the animals are Montana's Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Reservations, Sinte Gleska University on South Dakota's Rosebud Sioux Reservation, Wyoming's Northern Arapaho Tribe and a Blackfeet Tribe member in Montana.