Wildlife in Serengeti-Park
Bison | Bison bison
The bison is also known as the “Indian buffalo”. It is the only wild cattle and at the same time the most powerful mammal of the American continent! Before Europeans came to America, there was a billowing sea of grass – the great prairie that seemed endlessly wide. This was the home of the bison. It is hard to imagine that almost 60 million of these mighty animals lived here! For the Indians, bison was vital: they lived off their flesh, made their clothes and tents from their skins, and turned their horns into jewelry. They hunted only as many animals as they needed for their livelihood.
When the west of North America was settled and the railroad lines were built, the new settlers nearly eradicated the large bison herds in a few decades. In 1894, 800 animals were still living throughout North America, 200 of them in the newly established Yellowstone National Park. Due to heavy poaching, in 1902 there were only 23 animals left. Today, thanks to the consistent protection and breeding of herds in various regions of the Midwest, bison populations have grown to approximately 350,000 animals. If you observe our bison outdoors, you will find that they are massive animals! Bulls can grow three meters long, 1.90 meters high and weigh up to 1000 kilograms! The front body and the broad head are characteristic of these animals. Bison herds are made up of many small groups. The younger bulls also form groups and stay on the edge of the herd. In search of good pastures, some bison herds migrate over long distances. They walk on paths that are used by them repeatedly.