Bison Romance Reintroduced In The UK After 6,000 Years
Conservationists reintroducing wild bison to the UK after 6,000 years are hoping for the patter of tiny feet – after two loved-up bison struck up a rapport.
The European bison are part of the Wilder Blean project near Canterbury, Kent, and three females, known as cows, were brought from Ireland and Scotland in July.
A bull was introduced from Germany just before Christmas and quickly hit it off with one of the females.
The usually shy female is normally bottom of the hierarchy but has started acting more boldly, and showing signs of affection with the male.
The pair have been caught on camera nuzzling and nipping each other.
Hopes are high that a baby could be on the way to boost the European Breeding Project.
The female cow is a doting ‘auntie’ to the herd’s calf, which was born in September.
Fencing to keep the animals, which can weigh up to 850kg and are described as “like a bulldozer,” has cost £ 1 million ($1,217,100 USD)
A spokesman said: “There is a bit of a romance going on.
“One of the females is quite in love with him and is quite attentive.
“She’s been quite bold in approaching him and she is usually rather shy.
“It’s been quite cute watching them nuzzling.
“She is probably bottom of the ladder but one of the most inquisitive.
“We want them to breed, ideally.
“Part of this is for the European Breeding Programme.”
Bison ranger Tom Gibbs said: “Since the bull arrived, the bison have bonded well.
“We were keen to monitor how the herd dynamics changed, especially as the females take an active interest in protecting the calf.
“But it could not have gone better, and they have settled into life in Blean Woods.
“Female one, who has one horn, is a naturally shy bison but she is also inquisitive and was quick to approach the bull on his arrival.
“Since then, she has taken an active interest in him, following him around, sharing food, grooming and playfully sparring with him.
“They have certainly developed a close bond, which is lovely to see and these relationships help to maintain a happy and healthy herd.
“Who knows, perhaps we will be hearing the pitter patter of tiny hooves ringing out around the forest in nine months’ time.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker.