Bison from American Prairie Reserve Meet the Public at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in D.C.

You now have the chance to visit a glimpse of American Prairie Reserve’s bison herd in our nation’s capital! Through a collaboration with the Smithsonian’s National Zoological park, two year-old female bison are residents of the new bison exhibit that opens this week. The exhibit is an important part of the Zoo’s 125th anniversary because bison “sparked the conservation movement and founding of the zoo.”

American Prairie Reserve is proud to play a role in the National Zoo’s long history of bison conservation, and we’re honored to be able to help modern efforts raise awareness of the importance of these iconic animals and the endangered landscapes they represent. Because the plains bison is a keystone species whose presence benefits dozens of other creatures, we believe that increased public understanding and support of the natural role of bison in the ecosystem is a critical component of grassland conservation.

“They’re an American icon… We feel very lucky to be involved in the project to draw attention to the conservation efforts and the conservation that’s still needed to bring the bison back to a glimmer of their former glory.” – Damien Austin, APR

Conservation on a large scale requires partnerships, exchanges and sharing – especially since bison numbers remain extremely low after near extermination. Since our bison reintroduction efforts began in 2005, American Prairie Reserve has provided bison to a wide range of collaborators to grow our collective understanding of important issues like bison genetics and behavior. We have donated bison to conservation herds on the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge in Nebraska and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado as well as the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, Colorado State University, the United States Department of Agriculture and the Bronx Zoo.

Thank you for being a part of the long legacy of bison conservation across the United States — and for helping provide scientists and visitors from around the world the chance to know a national icon.

RELATED LINKS

Learn more about the bison exhibit at a special website launched today.

Hear from Reserve Supervisor & bison specialist Damien Austin and the bison exhibit curator in today’s article from The Washington Post.

How were the bison named?

Press Release from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo

National Zoo’s American bison are named: Zora and Wilma

Smithsonian Magazine: The Historic Return of the American Bison

KidsPost: Meet the National Zoo’s new bison

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