bison

 

In this spacious exhibit you will see animals that once roamed America’s Great Plains in vast numbers.  Over one million buffalo, officially they are bison, annually migrated between present day Canada and Texas.  On the western edge of the plains over one hundred thousand elk would seasonally migrate from the lower elevations of the plains to the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains. Bison now roam within refuges, but elk still migrate from summer to winter ranges in a few northwestern states.

In the exhibit you will see tree branches, small logs, and barrels. These are enrichment items.  Don’t be surprised to see the bison pushing the barrel around.  The bison’s horns are retained for life.

The wood bison, a smaller version of the plains bison, lived in the area that became New Jersey in early colonial times.  There is an account of a bison chasing a settler into his log cabin.  The bison forced itself through the door of the cabin and proceeded to knock the cabin down.

 

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