VIDEO: Herd of purebred bison donated to the Bronx Zoo by Native American tribes – Belmont – New York

Bison at the Bronx Zoo
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A herd of purebred bison has arrived at the Bronx Zoo as a gift from a pair of Native American tribes.

The zoo received eight bison – seven females and one male – from the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes in November, marking the first time in history that a tribe has donated bison to a zoo, the Wildlife conservation society noted.

The animals come from the line of Yellowstone National Park, which is one of the few remaining genetically pure herds. According to the Bronx Zoo, the majority of bison now have a small amount of domestic cattle genes from previous crossbreeding efforts to produce a more resilient breed of cattle.

Leaders of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes visited the zoo in November and blessed the bison in a sacred pipe ceremony intended to celebrate the relationship between the tribes and the Wildlife Conservation Society, which operates the Bronx Zoo.

The zoo has been working on raising new herds of genetically pure bison for about five years, and the donation represents a continuation of that effort.

“The Bronx Zoo has played an important historical role in the recovery of the American bison,” WCS vice president Dr. Pat Thomas said in a statement. “By establishing a pure herd here, the zoo will, in essence, be returning to its roots.”

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Jeanetta J. Stewart

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