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Prince in Cody Supporting Research

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CODY, Wyo. -

What does European royalty have to do with elk and wolves in Wyoming? One hundred thousand dollars, to start. Prince Albert II of Monaco is supporting research and celebrating a century old family tradition in Cody this weekend.

Prince Albert the First was the first European royalty to visit the U.S. when he came to hunt wild animals near Yellowstone with Buffalo Bill Cody in 1913.

One hundred years later, his great-great grandson, Prince Albert II came to Cody to help preserve the greater Yellowstone area's diverse wildlife with a scientific grant called the Camp Monaco prize.

Prince Albert told the press, "We're very happy to have this partnership with the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, the Draper Natural History museum and the University of Wyoming's Berry Biological Institute."

The one hundred thousand dollar grant funds the continuing work of Arthur Middleton and Joe Riis, who studied migrating elk in Northwest Wyoming. Middleton found the migrating herds are a defining feature of the Yellowstone ecosystem.

Monaco prizewinner Dr. Arthur Middleton said, "They bind the landscape together. They feed the carnivores, the famous carnivores of the system, but also local communities and landscapes surrounding the system."

Prize jury co-chair Dr. Charles Preston remarked, "The purpose of this sort of a partnership is to stimulate innovative thinking and to stimulate this cross boundary idea."

While in Wyoming the Prince is retracing his great great grandfather's hunting trip on horseback, visiting Buffalo Bill's ranch outside Cody, and attending the Patron's Ball, of course.

Camp Monaco was the 1913 hunting camp near Yellowstone's eastern border. Prince Albert the First is the son of Prince Rainier and American actress Grace Kelly. Albert was educated in the United States.