European bison – bringing a species back from the brink

European bison – bringing a species back from the brink


We have fourteen European bison at the wildlife park. We’ve had them since 1971 before the park opened in 1972. They eat all manner of trees, deciduous and coniferous, their favourite food is actually acorns not many animals can actually eat that. European bison went extinct in the wild the main cause was hunting, but also habitat degradation and competition with livestock. Captive breeding in zoos has helped this species by reintroducing animals into the wild to help the wild stock. Highland Wildlife Park has sent out three European bison in the past, two to Spain and one out to Romania. What’s unique about our bison coming from the Highland Wildlife Park is they’re called after all the Scottish glens. So if anyone is tracking their progress in the future, be it in the wild or in captivity in another zoo or park, you’ll know they’re from the Highland Wildlife Park because they’ll be Glen… Scotia, Glen Finnan, just a Scottish glen. That’s our I.D. Knowing that some of these animals will be returned to the wild just goes to show it’s so important to have them in captivity to be able to breed them and be part of this giant conservation story. Because at the end of the day, if there were no bison in the beginning in captivity we wouldn’t have these European bison in the wild.

One thought on “European bison – bringing a species back from the brink

  1. So close to extinction. I remember seeing these in another wildlife park when I was a child. I didn't realise the importance of zoos and wild parks back then.

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