Great addition in Feldman Ecopark: the largest American mammals (bisons) appeared here. Five animals (two males and three females) joined animal collection of the Social and Humanitarian Multi-Complex within the programme of free exchange of animals from the biosphere reserve Askania-Nova located in Kherson Oblast, where the only large herd of these animals in Europe is presented.
Bisons arrived to Feldman Ecopark in two groups – first three, then two more. They feel fine after transportation and already adapt to a new conditions. As told in Ecopark, a new, quite spacious enclosure was built for bisons behind the territory of Three Lakes. There the animals will stay in quarantine for some period of time. In the future, it is planned to build for them a large expositional enclosure, which will become the central element of a large prairie exposition, created within the framework of the project the World Open Foundation for Animal Rehabilitation and Reintroduction (WOFARR).
Bisons belong to ungulates of the Bovidae family. They feed mainly with grass, which can eat up to 25 kg a day. Thick fur well protects a bison, so they easily withstand 30-degree frosts. The adult animal reaches 2.5-3 m in length and up to 2 m in height. It has thick wool of grey-brown color on the head and black-brown on the neck. Front part of the body is covered with longer wool. The head is massive, with a wide forehead, short thick curved horns; ears are short and narrow; eyes are big and dark, the neck is short.
Bisons were widespread almost throughout North America and their number at the beginning of the 20th century is about 30-40 million individuals. However, by the end of the century the species was almost eliminated because of human depredation. Through the protection measures, about 30,000 bison now live in nature and about 500,000 – on private ranches. In Askania-Nova bison appeared at the time of its founder Baron Falz-Fein within the framework of a programme to preserve this species of animal, took root and actively reproduce.