Zoo welcomes Bison calf

Zoo welcomes Bison calf

Keepers at Taronga Western Plains Zoo are delighted by the arrival of a male Bison calf, which was born on Sunday 7 November 2010 in the early hours of the morning.

The calf is one of a number of spring babies born at the Zoo this year including a Zebra foal in September and a number of Barbary Sheep offspring that have been born over the past couple of months.

Keepers have aptly named the male calf Minninnewah meaning whirlwind in native American and he is living up to this meaning already going out on exhibit the very same day he was born to the delight of visitors. 

“At almost two weeks of age Minninnewah is keeping the herd on their toes,” said keeper Jesmond Williams

“Minninnewah is definitely a confident and very brave little calf, he has never been shy and always very inquisitive coming down to the front of the exhibit or introducing himself to the large male Bison of the herd.”

“This is quite different to Shilah the calf born last year who was very timid and stayed by mum’s side until he was much older,” said Jesmond.

Experienced mother Shashone is nurturing her calf well and allowing him to explore the exhibit whilst keeping an eye on his movements.  This is her fourth calf in as many years and both mother and calf are doing well.

“At present Minninnewah looks similar to a domestic calf, but as he develops he will end up at a similar size to his father, Cherokee-Bob who weighs around 1500kgs,” said Jesmond.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo has five Bison on exhibit now including the most recent addition, Minninnewah.

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 the USA and in Zoos.