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Watching a captive-bred bison herd take their next steps towards rewilding

September 12, 2014

The 17 European bison who in May made their way back to the Romania’s Tarcu Mountains, after the species had been extinct there for 250 years, are getting closer and closer to full freedom in the wild.

Today I stood beside them and witnessed each step of their way from the quarantine/acclimatisation area and over to what we call the rewilding area, 160 hectares in size.

The bison spent four months in the 10-hectare quarantine/acclimatisation zone, to recover from the stress from their transportation by truck through several European countries and from meeting each other and creating a new social group – all in order get well adapted to their new home, and also in order to follow the veterinary rules. This adaptation went very well and all 17 bison were now ready for a bigger playground where they will take the next steps in learning how to live as naturally as possible before their final release into the wild.

So let me show you how my day went, as we watched them making their way further towards free life. An unforgettable day!

The bison may be three times faster than the cow, but today they took their time.

Just another good ‘ol morning…

 

We opened the gates and expected them to storm through… but they didn’t.

 

Lots of other critters were running around there though, like this little fox.

 

The bison seemed to get a bit curious about all the fuss we were all making.

 

And finally, the leading bison cow, “the boss” of the herd, does what she does best – leads the herd.

 

If I was a bison, I also would be wondering why all these people are staring at this gate…

 

And finally they’re out through the gate!

 

The smell of freedom…

 

The grass on the other side is always greener…

 

Possibly they will be let out from this last enclosure already before the end of the fall.

That’s all for today, folks!

If you want to be updated about the next bison adventures in the Southern Carpathians, keep an eye on our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And don’t miss to come and visit the Armenis area in the Tarcu mountains, Southern Carpathians,  soon to be one of the top bison watching locations in Europe. Make sure you have joined the Rewilding Europe Travel Club before you do!

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