Update: We have now shortlisted 10 names for you to Vote on www.facebook.com/Fotawildlife
The arrival of the calf to mother Donna in the early hours of Saturday Morning has come in the same week as the death of the calf’s father Boris who sadly died on Wednesday. Boris a 16 year old who had originally come from Boras Djurpark Zoo in Sweden had been at the park since 1999 and was the dominant male in the group at Fota.
Willy Duffy head warden at Fota Wildlife Park said “it is great to see a calf born just as the summer is about to begin but it is also sad to be losing Boris as he has been with us since we introduced the herd of Bison in 1999”. The baby bison is the 16th offspring from Boris which included 3 calves that were introduced into Komaneza Forest in Poland in 2008 as part of a reintroduction programme into the wild.
The European Bison, also called the Wisent, is Europe’s largest native mammal. Large bulls can reach over six feet in height and weigh 2,000lbs but the species is also extremely agile and capable of jumping a three-metre wide stream from a standing position.
The European Bison live in mixed deciduous and coniferous forests in Eastern Europe, eating mostly leaves, bark, acorns, lichens and mosses. Herds are both mixed, and led by a dominant male, or consist of smaller male-only groups.
The Park has been part of a European-wide breeding programme ever since Bison first arrived in Cork in 1999. A significant number of calves have been born in the years since and many have been sent overseas to aid in programmes being developed elsewhere.
Head of Marketing for Fota Wildlife Park Stephen Ryan added “the public love naming the animals here at the park including the famous Shay Gibbon that was born last year so we are now giving them the opportunity to name a European Bison Calf”.
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