Second baby bison born at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park

(Posted July 2, 2014)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The bison herd continues to grow at Battelle-Darby Creek Metro Park. Baby bison No. 2 was born on June 16.

“We don’t know the sex yet on this one, but we do know the first one is a female,” said Tim Taylor, a naturalist at the park.

The first baby bison born at the park arrived on May 28. The herd now totals nine, including the six adult females introduced to the park in 2011, the adult male introduced last year, and the two new babies. Soon, that number will go to 10 and maybe even 11.

“We’re expecting at least one more baby to be born anytime now, and there is a possibility that another one of our females is pregnant, too,” Taylor said.

The babies are healthy and doing well within the herd. Attendance at the park has increased with visitors stopping in for a chance to see the newborns. Taylor notes, though, that the babies can be hard to spot due to the high grass and the fact that they could be anywhere in the 25-acre paddock.

“You might have to walk around the field for a chance to see them,” he said. “We’ve also created viewing mounds that you can go up on and look down into the field.”

The babies are most active in the mornings and evenings. They tend to sleep in the heat of the afternoon, Taylor said.

Visitors are welcome to stop by the park anytime. The park’s program schedule includes a hike to the bison paddock at 1 p.m. July 20. The hike is one mile and starts from the nature center, 1415 Darby Creek Drive, Galloway.

Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park is located a few minutes east of West Jefferson off of U.S. Route 40. For more information, go to

Baby bison trivia

• Male calves drink more milk than females do, which allows them to grow as much as two pounds per day. They weigh 45 to 50 pounds at birth. Males born in late spring can weigh as much as 450 pounds by fall.

• From the onset of contractions, it takes only 20 minutes for a bison cow to give birth. Afterwards, she eats the placenta for nutrition and to remove temptation from predators such as wolves and bears. While such predators are not present at the metro park, the bison still act on instinct.

• At birth, bison are light reddish brown in color. They develop their signature hump and dark brown coat within a few months.

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