In today’s blog we want to introduce you to our bison cow and give you a little sneak peek into the construction going on in the bison paddocks at the new California Trail expansion.
Without further ado, say “hi!” to our 30 year old female bison. She can be found roaming the large exhibit above the elephant exhibit (which is only visible from the Skyride). She was born here at Oakland Zoo on June 28th, 1987.
Three decades later, she still enjoys the simple things, like taking a dirt bath to ward off pesky flies, scratching those hard to reach spots on oak branches, snacking on a watermelon treat, or cooling off in the mister. Since she is occasionally hard to spot from the Skyride, here are some videos of her activities to enjoy:
Bison-made dirt bed for taking dust baths
Bison scratching on oak limb
Bison eating a watermelon
Bison in the mister
Now, for a sneak peak into the construction going on at the new California Trail expansion! In the pictures below, you are looking at our brand new bison corral. While there is still lots of work to be done, these are the bones of the building. This building will be essential to our bison management. It is designed to facilitate a low stress handling system based off of Temple Grandin's ground breaking livestock behavior research.
With this building, the bison will have covered feed and water areas, stalls for medical procedures and a wonderful service area for keepers. Our current exhibit is around 7 acres and with the new addition our bison will have over 10+ acres to graze and be bison!
We are beyond excited to welcome this bison herd to the zoo and share their critical role in conserving the species with all our visitors. Oakland Zoo is proud to partner with Iinnii Initiative to reintroduce bison to the American plains. Visit Oakland Zoo’s website to read more about this initiative and how we are supporting it. http://www.oaklandzoo.org/conservation-partners/iinnii-bison-initiative
Save the Date!!! Celebrate National Bison Day at the zoo with not one but TWO events! Join us at the zoo for an evening lecture on Thursday, November 2nd and a day event on Saturday, November 4th. Stay tuned for more details, but mark your calendar now!!