European Bison, Bryansk Forest Nature Reserve
The European bison is the heaviest mammal in Europe: it may weight up to 1,000 kilograms and can grow up to 2 meters tall.
The ancient bison were more massive, which made them a desired trophy for hunters. By 1920 this wild ox almost disappeared from the continent. All modern species originate from the only 12 animals that survived at that time in zoos and reserved areas.
Ecologists made a lot of effort to breed as many of them as they could, and by 2020 their population was already over 8,000 animals.
One of the sites where bison are being taken care of today is the Bryansk Forest Nature Reserve: there are about 120 animals living in an ideal environment, that was created for them.
Bison live in small herds: during warm seasons the herds consist mostly of females and young calves. Males join the herd in winter. An adult animal consumes approximately 36 kg of green feed per day!
Despite their size, bison are amazingly agile. A scared adult animal can easily jump over a fallen tree up to 2 meters high and up to 5 metres long.
Anyway, we are watching bison without disturbing them: they don't have to run away from us and can peacefully enjoy their main daytime leisure - grazing in the fresh frosty air!
17 February 2023
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