Young calves join older bison at Golden Gate Park

January 14, 2012 7:55:50 PM PST
Golden Gate Park's bison herd expanded this week when a half-dozen calves joined a trio of adult bison in a newly renovated paddock, San Francisco Recreation and Park Department officials announced this week.

Six young bison joined their older counterparts in the paddock just a week after one of their fellow baby bison died after running into a fence in fright after being chased by an off-leash dog.

A post-mortem exam showed that the baby bison died from blunt force trauma, suffering broken ribs, cuts and internal bleeding.

Since their birth late last year, the young calves were quarantined in an area of the park near the main bison paddock.

The new additions to the bison paddock are meant to replenish the aging herd of three female bison, according to the RPD.

"The bison are truly unique and magnificent treasures of Golden Gate Park, and we are thrilled that the young and old bison are together now," said Phil Ginsberg, RPD general manager.

Bison have been kept at the park since the 1890s, when the city's park commission bought a small herd.

Though populations of North America's largest living native animal have dropped sharply over the past century, conservation efforts such as Golden Gate Park's breeding program have protected remaining herds, according to the park department.

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