BISON

Discover the bison during your visit to the park. It is the largest ungulate; males can weigh up to one ton. Its weight and considerable strength make it a dangerous animal even without aggressive intentions. Males and females only live together during the summer season. The female gives birth to a calf every 3 years on average.

Bison were once on the brink of extinction during the construction of the railroads and the conquest of the West (around 1870-1880). At this time the killing of bison was a large-scale economic enterprise but also a strategy to starve the Native Americans. Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody) was one of the greatest bison hunters. This unending hunt at the end of the 19th century, in addition to the brucellosis epidemic from Europe, almost led to the complete extinction of this species. Although at the beginning of the conquest of the West, we could find hundreds of thousands of bison in the wild, by 1900 only one thousand remained.

At the end of the 19th century, a few middle class women mobilised against bison slaughter: they strived to save the species by publishing articles and by engaging politicians. In 1905, “The American Bison Society“ was founded. Its aim was to protect the survivors and to grow the population. Today, there are 200 to 300, 000 bison living in zoos, wildlife parks, private farms (for meat) and natural reserves (in USA and Canada).

Video Zone