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Interesting facts about bison

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We found 30 interesting facts about bison

One of the animal species almost completely exterminated by humans

The bison is the largest land mammal found in Europe. In prehistoric times, their distribution range ranged from the western coast of Spain through England, Scandinavia, Russia to northern Mongolia.

In the Middle Ages, the population of these animals was destroyed, and at the beginning of the 20th century, bison were on the verge of extinction. Fortunately, thanks to the initiative of the Poles in the 80s, it was possible to interest the international community in the threat to this species. Just a few years later, efforts began to reintroduce bison into the environment.

In recent years, the bison population has been constantly growing, although there are still relatively few of them. Most wild bison can be found in Poland and Belarus.


There are currently 2429 bison living in Poland.

Most of them are found in the wild, with only 206 individuals living in closed farms. There are approximately 9100 individuals.


Almost half of the Polish bison population lives in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Bison are also found in the Bieszczady, Borecka and Knyszynska forests, as well as in the area of ​​Drawsko-Pomeranian and Mirosławiec.

Find out interesting facts about Belovezhskaya Pushcha.


Outside Poland, bison can be found in the wild in Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Slovakia, Germany, Romania and Belarus.

Wild populations rarely exceed 100 individuals, and this number is necessary to maintain genetic variation.


Initially, bison lived in open spaces, but climate warming and human expansion forced these animals to move to forest areas.

However, forests are not an optimal habitat for bison due to the lack of sufficient food, especially in winter. Hungry bison often leave forests and can cause damage to agriculture, so in harsh winters people feed them.


The European bison species arose about 120 years ago through interbreeding between primitive bison and aurochs.


We call the male bison a bull, the female a cow, and the young ones calves.


The average weight of an adult male bison is 700 kilograms, but there are individuals weighing almost a ton.

Female bison are smaller than males, weighing on average 440 kilograms, and the maximum weight they can reach is 640 kilograms.


Male bison can reach a height of 188 centimeters at the withers.

The average height of a male bison is 172 centimeters, a female is 152 centimeters.


Due to their enormous size, adult bison have no natural enemies.

Currently, their greatest threat is from hunters, although in the XNUMXth century there were reports of bison being hunted by wolves or bears.


Bison meat is edible for humans.

In the Middle Ages, it was often served at the royal court on weekends. Representatives had the right to hunt knighthood and then nobilityBison meat rarely found its way into the homes of medieval Kowalskis, usually as a result of poaching. It was also an important nutritional element. soldiers during World War Iwhich led to the completion extinction wild individuals.

Meat per year several dozen bison end up on Polish tables. It tastes like beef.


Bison in captivity can live up to 30 years, but those found in the wild rarely live to that age.

They typically live between 18 and 24 years in the wild, with females living longer than males.


Male bison are characterized by a very developed front part of the body with a distinct and large hump and a small croup covered with short hair.


Bison live in herds, into which a newborn individual immediately joins.

A small bison is introduced to the herd by his mother. A bison herd usually consists of 8-13 individuals.


They are herbivores. Their food consists mainly of grasses and herbaceous plants.

At the end of winter and beginning of spring, bison supplement their diet with tree bark and shoots of some bushes and trees. They also eat acorns during this time. With the exception of winter, when there is enough grass, bison occasionally eat bark and shoots.

Adult bison eat 40 to 60 kilograms of food per day and spend about 70% of the day searching for food.

They also need to be drunk every day. During harsh winters, bison can be seen breaking ice with their hooves to get to water.


In Pszczyna there is a Bison Demonstration Farm, where you can admire these animals in the company of roe deer, mouflon, fallow deer and red deer.


A cross between bison and livestock, bison.

The first bison was bred in 1847 by Leopold Walitsky by crossing a cow with a bison bull. The animal received the name “buffalo” in 1969 at a competition organized by the magazine “Pshekroy”.

During the breeding season, if competing males are of comparable size, fights may occur between them, which can lead to death.


The female bison comes into heat from August to October. The gestation period of these animals lasts about nine months and usually one individual is born.

The weight of a newborn bison can range from 16 to 35 kilograms.

Male bison reach sexual maturity at the age of 2 years, and females at 3 years.

However, the reproductive capabilities of bison vary greatly depending on gender. Males are usually able to reproduce between 6 and 12 years of age, and females between 4 and 20 years of age.


The mother's feeding period lasts about a year. Then she usually gets pregnant again. On average, female bison become pregnant once every two years.


Already in the XNUMXth century, all wild bison became extinct in England. Man was, of course, responsible for this fact.


In Poland, the first attempts to protect bison by royal decrees were made already in the XNUMXth century.


In the XNUMXth century, bison were protected by Tsar Alexander I Romanov.

Thanks to the actions of the Russians, the population of these animals increased to 1857 individuals in 1900.

The last living plains bison was killed around 1920. If not for individuals kept in captivity, this species would never have been recreated.


In 1923, on the initiative of the Poles, the International Society for the Protection of Bison was founded.


After the end of World War II, Poland became the world's leading bison breeding center.


The bison is a strictly protected species throughout the world.


The oldest depiction of a bison was found in the Altamira Cave in northern Spain.

According to archaeological research, the paintings may be 15-35 years old, and some of them are up to 70000 years old.

In 1954, the Polish Post issued a postage stamp with the image of a bison. It belonged to the “Protected Animals” stamp series.

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