The American bison are one of the country’s greatest conservation successes, much like the other iconic American species, the bald eagle. Once numbering in the millions, bison were reduced to only a few hundred individuals by the late 1800s due to habitat destruction and hunting. A breeding program at the Bronx Zoo begun in 1905 established enough bison to form a small herd by 1913. Today, bison live in all 50 states.
Zoo Director Gregg Dancho said, “Bison have had a place at Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo for many years. Our last two bison, Dakota and Sweetpea, were a beloved pair that passed away from extreme old age in the past few years. We’re happy to welcome back this iconic American species.”
Clara and Eleanor join other new arrivals at the Zoo: Dexter cows Bridie and Moo Moo Rose, and Black and Gold Howler monkeys Ella and Lina.
Arrival video: https://youtu.be/V06pLIonzyg
Bison are a very large species of wild cattle. As North America’s largest land animal, males stand up to six feet at the shoulders and weigh up to 2,000 pounds, and females reach a height of four to five feet and weigh up to 1,000 pounds. At maturity, bison grow long dark hair over their heads, shoulders, and forelegs. Both males and females have horns up to two feet long that are never shed. They are usually slow moving but can run up to 40 miles per hour. They are sometimes incorrectly called buffalo, or American buffalo, due to their similarity to Asian and African water buffalo.
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