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Bison Calf and Mother

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Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are delighted by the arrival of a female Bison calf that was born in the early hours of the morning on Thursday 30 October 2008. 

The yet to be named calf is the second calf to parents Shashone (mother) and Cherokee Bob (father), bringing the Zoo's bison herd to a total of four.

"When I arrived at work on the 30 October and began to do my daily duties I noticed the new addition to the herd in their night yards," said keeper Erin Stone.

"The calf was standing well and suckling from her mother which was a great sign.  Both mother and calf are healthy and doing well," said Erin.

"Shashone is obviously very protective of her calf, she is not letting her out of her sight and they are regularly seen side by side in the exhibit," said Erin.

Bison give birth to red-brown calves after a nine month gestation; the young are nursed for one year before being weaned.

"At present the little calf looks similar to a domestic calf however, over the next couple of months she will start to develop the iconic Bison look," said Erin.

Bison: the Bison is the largest mammal of the American continents weighing up to 1600kg.  The frontal part of the body is overdeveloped giving the bison its characteristic profile.  Bison once roamed from Alaska along the east slopes of the Rocky Mountains southward to north-east Mexico and across almost to the Atlantic.  Now they are found in protected areas of Canada and USA and in Zoos.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo located in Dubbo in Central Western NSW.  The Zoo is open everyday from 9am - 4pm (exit gates close at 5pm).  For more information about the Zoo contact 02 6881 1400 or visit www.taronga.org.au.

For more information contact Media Relations:

Ph: +61 2 6881 1413
Fax: +61 2 6884 1722
Email: wpz@zoo.nsw.gov.au

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