Have you herd the news? 5 new bison calves have come to Golden Gate Park ahead of the 150th Anniversary celebration.
Five new female bison yearlings will now call Golden Gate Park their home, as SF Rec and Park announced on Instagram yesterday. The adorable new San Francisco residents will be running around, chomping hay and socializing in a separate pen while they acclimatize to their new environment. They will join the rest of the herd and meet the public on April 4 (if all goes according to plan). This exciting addition is part of the park’s Sesquicentennial Celebration, which will also feature a giant Ferris wheel.
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A brief history of bison in the park
In 1890 the first two bison were introduced to the urban sanctuary. A bull from the Great Plains and a cow from Wyoming. By 1918, more were introduced from Yellow Stone National Park, growing the herd to 30.
While the population of bison was on the decline due to poaching, the Golden Gate Park herd produced over 100 calves, through a captive breeding program. This brought the total number of bison in North America to reach over 200,000. However, only around 30,000 bison are living as wild according to UCUN Redlist.
Bison are the hipsters of the Bovidae family
Many confuse buffalo and bison, so much so that even the park has resorted to naming their paddock “Buffalo Paddock Bison”. While both species are incredibly social and have a few similarities, they are by no means the same creature. Contrary to popular belief, buffalo do not roam America. They are in fact native to Asia and Africa, with distinctly larger horns and a smoother coat. Meanwhile, bison have shorter horns, a large hump on their back and sport wooly coats and thick beards. So they probably have more in common with the bearded coffee shop breed than anything else.
Finding the bison paddock
The Buffalo Paddock Bison is located along John F Kennedy Drive, between the Golden Gate ParkGMunicipal Golf Course and Spreckels Lake.
Featured image by SF Rec and Park announced via Instagram