Tallgrass Prairie Preserve announces first baby Bison born in 2021

Mike Seals - March 23, 2021 11:11 am

Say hello to the first baby bison of 2021 at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.

According to officials with the preserve, the first bison calf of 2021 was seen Monday morning at the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, being bashful and walking closely alongside its mother.

“This bundle of joy arrived a bit earlier than normal,” said Bob Hamilton, Tallgrass Prairie Preserve Director. “Typically, bison calves arrive around Easter weekend. Doing the math, that means this calf’s mom was bred in June–bison have a 9 1/2-month gestation period. We suspect that its early arrival is due to good forage conditions last summer which may have triggered early breeding. Additionally, minus the February cold spell, it was a pretty mild winter–so that may be a factor in its early arrival as well. Either way, we look forward to this exciting day each year!”

In the spring of 2020, 597 calves were born. Preserve staff said they expect another 500-600 this spring, making now a great time to visit the preserve to view the precious bundles of joy along with the 2,100 adult bison that roam freely.

Visitors may see calves frolicking, chasing, battling, butting, kicking and racing. Such activity aids muscle development and coordination important later in life, according to the preserve.

For the public’s safety, when visiting the bison, officials urge visitors to stay in their cars.

The preserve is open daily from dawn to dusk with no charge for admittance and can be accessed via county roads. There are free-ranging bison herds, scenic turnouts, hiking trails and picnic tables. The gift shop/visitor center is currently closed.

Consisting of almost 40,000 acres near Pawhuska in Osage County, the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve is the largest protected remnant of tallgrass prairie left in the world, officials said.


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