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New arrival in the Bison herd

7 March 2017

Werribee Open Range Zoo have welcomed a new arrival to the Bison herd, with a calf for Bison Benji and mum Teyha born in the early hours of Saturday 21 January.

The female calf has been named Tuari, a native American word from the Laguna dialect meaning ‘young eagle’, with the name inspired by the sighting of a Wedge-tailed Eagle on the morning of her birth.

Bison calves have a distinct dark orange coat, which helps with their camouflage when they are young, and they usually weigh around 25kg at birth.

At two months of age their coat begins to darken to deep brown and they also develop their hump and horns.

Tuari was born on display and can be seen with the rest of the Bison herd on Safari at Werribee Open Range Zoo.

At this early age, mum is very protective of the youngster, but before long she will be hanging out with big sister Tiponi, who marked her first birthday in February.

Millions of Bison once roamed the American plains from northern Mexico to Alaska, but they were hunted to near extinction in the late 1800s, with as few as 1000 wild Bison remaining.

As a result of conservation efforts the population has increased to approximately 19,000 animals in protected conservation reserves and a few, small wild populations.