Parks & Recreation
Meet the American Bison at Wildwood Zoo
We have a small herd of bison at Wildwood Zoo. Our largest male bison is named Prince. He was born in May 2000 right here at Wildwood Zoo. He has been neutered so he will not have the large humped shoulders that a male bison usually gets. Our other male bison is named Dakota. He was also born at Wildwood Zoo in 2009. He has not been neutered and will be allowed to sire offspring at the zoo. The bison and the prairie dogs are the only animals at the zoo that we allow to reproduce. The rest of the herd is made up of females and young calves.
On May 18, 2012 two baby bison were born. Two bison calves were born in 2010 and 2011. Three bison calves were born in 2009. See if you can spot any calves on your next visit. Bison calves grow quickly and can weigh 400 pounds by their first birthday.
To get the best view of the bison we recommend observing the herd from the Large Animal Drive.
American Bison are the heaviest land mammal in North America. They are 5 to 6 feet long and weight 900-2,200 pounds. Historically, bison occurred throughout North America. Today, the only free-roaming herd of bison in the U.S. is the bison herd in Yellowstone National Park (northwestern Wyoming). Bison like to eat grasses and sedges and typically live 12 to 15 years in the wild.
Another common name for the American Bison is buffalo. However, bison and buffalo are not the same animals and are in a different genus. They would be considered cousins to each other. True buffalo are the water buffalo, native to Asia, and the Cape buffalo, native to Africa. True buffalo do not have a hump on their shoulder, have longer horns, thinner fur, no beard around their neck, and are more docile animals.