A baby is born

0
500

By Andrea Cordle
Westside Editor

Photo courtesy of John Watts/Metro Parks The calf, its mother and another member of the Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park bison herd stop for a drink of water.
Photo courtesy of John Watts/Metro Parks
The calf, its mother and another member of the Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park bison herd stop for a drink of water.

The first baby bison at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park has arrived.

The calf was born May 28.

“We are almost sure it is a female,” said Tim Taylor, a naturalist at Darby. “It is cute and it frolics.”

Taylor said the staff at Darby does not officially name the bison, but he said some have nicknamed the little cow red-dog because of its light reddish coloring.

In 2011, Battelle Darby introduced six female bison to roam on nearly 50 acres of prairie grass. Last year, they brought on a bull with the hope of reproduction.

It may not be too long before the newest addition has a playmate. Taylor said other bison might be pregnant.

“We’ve got our fingers crossed,” he said.

According to Taylor, the herd has already accepted the calf.

“The whole herd can be very protective of their young,” said Taylor. “It’s not just the mother.”

The female bison can carry a baby for about nine months. Taylor said usually there is only one calf, but occasionally there may be twins. Calves are born in the spring and summer. They weigh around 45 pounds at birth.

“They are the largest land mammals in North America, so they grow pretty fast,” said Taylor.

The bison have been very popular at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. The staff expects an increase in visitation with the new arrival. However, Taylor cautions patrons not to get too excited.

“Like any young animal, it sleeps a lot,” said Taylor.

He said the calf sleeps in the tall grass, making it difficult to spot.

As the calf grows, so will its activity level.

“We just have to give it time,” said Taylor.

To celebrate the joyous occasion, the Friends of Metro Parks will host a Bison Baby Shower from 10 a.m. to noon, June 14 at the Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park Nature Center, 1415 Darby Creek Drive in Galloway.

There will be food, refreshments and activities. Baby gifts are not necessary, but there will be a ‘baby shower registry’ to help support the Metro Parks bison program.

The park will also host a bison event at 1 p.m. June 15 where patrons can learn about the bison and take a walk with a naturalist to see the herd.

For more information on the Bison Baby Shower or the bison program, visit www.metroparks.net.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.