First bison born this spring at Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

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Baby bison born this spring at Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. (Joe Briggs )
Baby bison born this spring at Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. (Joe Briggs )
Updated: 3/29/2013 10:42 am Published: 3/29/2013 10:39 am

The first bouncing baby bison was seen this week at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve.

Officials say the baby bison is bashful and walks closely alongside its mother. In the spring of 2012, 674 calves were born. The preserve staff expects another 600-700 for this spring.

Visitors can visit the young bison as well as the 2,117 adult bison that roam freely. Officials say the young bison are fun to watch as they can be rather playful. Visitors may see young bison frolicking, chasing, battling, butting, kicking, and racing.

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! Since 1993, The Nature Conservancy of Oklahoma has proven successful at restoring this fully-functioning portion of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem with the use of free-roaming bison. The herd started with 300 bison in 1993 and continues to thrive despite the drought.

“Keep in mind that the Tallgrass bison herd is not given any dietary supplements or hay – just the grass that grows and the water that flows,” Tallgrass Prairie Preserve Director Bob Hamilton said.

The preserve is open every day 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, picnic tables, breezeway information and public restrooms at the Historic Bunkhouse. The gift shop / visitor center is open from March through mid-November from 10:00am to 4:00pm. It is operated by docents, and is typically open every day.

For more information visit the Nature Conservancy's website.

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