Two baby European Bison born at Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park may one day roam eastern Europe’s natural areas as part of a program to reestablish the species, which became extinct in the wild in 1927.
The calves, one male and one female, were born at the drive-through reserve on May 13 to two different mothers. The births are part of an international program, led by Highland Wildlife Park, to manage the zoo-dwelling Bison population and help increase the wild herds.
Photo Credit: Highland Wildlife Park
European Bison are similar to American Bison and once roamed most of eastern, central, and western Europe. By 1927, there were no European Bison remaining in the wild, but 54 animals were living in zoos.
Since then, the European Bison has become a conservation success story. Through managed breeding, genetic diversity has been maximized and animals have been transported from zoos to wilderness areas in eastern Europe. Bison born at Highland Wildlife Park have been translocated in the past, and a large group is set to move to Romania later this year.
When these two calves are old enough, they may join their herdmates in the wilds of eastern Europe.