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Where to see American bison in the UK

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Pacu, 17 Aug 2016.

  1. Pacu

    Pacu Well-Known Member

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    I am currently doing a piece of work on the American bison and wish to include information about where they can be seen in the UK. I know of:
    Whipsnade, Woburn, Noahs Ark, Blair Drummond and two bison farms that are open to the public; Bush Farm Bison Centre in Wiltshire and Bouverie Lodge in Leicestershire.

    Does anyone know of other places where they can currently be seen?

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Fro Zootierliste, there are 5 holders of American plains bison (not American wood bison) in UK:

    UK/England:
    Dunstable (Whipsnade Wild Animal Park)
    West Knoyle (Bison Centre)
    Woburn (Safari Park)
    Wraxall (Noahs Ark Zoo Farm)

    UK/Scotland:
    Stirling (Blair Drummond Safari Park and Adventure Park)
     
  3. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    For interest's sake, I can also remember seeing American Bison exhibited at the following zoos(at some a long time ago);

    Bristol.
    Chester
    Cricket St Thomas
    Dudley
    Paignton.
    Port Lympne(?)

    Presumably ZSL also had them at London before Whipsnade was opened.
     
  4. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure there were American Bison at London as recently as the late 1970s. I think Kilverstone had them at that time too.
     
  5. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    There is also a bison farm in North Wales that is open to the public, but at the moment its name escapes me for the moment
     
  6. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    It won't be all that long before we lose the species from Whipsnade I fear; last I heard there is only a single elderly individual remaining...
     
  7. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member

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    Dudley definitely hasn't got them and I can't remember if there were any at Chester last time I visited.

    There is a herd on the Rhug estate near Corwen in mid-Wales. They are clearly visible from the A5 - there is a farm shop and retail outlet there so you can probably get quite close to them.
     
  8. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Dudley's are long gone- they were in the paddock which is now the Lion area.

    Chester- not sure if/when they stopped keeping them.
     
  10. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Don't have the date to hand but they were kept in the paddock that now has the round Tsavo rhino house and left shortly before its construction.
     
  11. Pacu

    Pacu Well-Known Member

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    Yes, London had one or two at a time for many years and had a huge bull on show in the 1970s; I saw him on the extreme left of the Cotton Terraces,where the okapi are now. So far then it looks as though I can add the Rhug Estate (I'll check to see what viewing would be like and I'll look up Welsh bison farms. I have found one more in Durham but it only has three bison. I either have the others on my list, or know that bison are no longer kept there.
     
  12. Pacu

    Pacu Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone. It appears that the Rhug Estate still has a reasonable size herd on show and it is the only Welsh bison farm. It would be a great shame if the Whipsnade herd was not replaced, there was outcry when them moved them away a few years ago and they bought them back but I wonder if they would just put the wisent there now instead.
     
  13. Angel

    Angel Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple of pictures of bison at Chester in 1998 but none since. Having said that, I don't visit every year and they may have been there on subsequent visits and I just didn't photograph them.
     
  14. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    According to ZTL, Chester went out of the species in 2001.
     
  15. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Yes, London Zoo first had American bison back in 1829; more than a century before Whipsnade opened.

    There were American bison at London Zoo throughout the 1970s and 1980s and into the early 1990s.

    There were certainly American bison at Kilverstone into the 1980s.


    Incidentally, I can remember American bison at Chessington back in the 1960s; I also recall seeing hybrids between American bison and Ankole cattle that were bred there during this period.
     
  16. Astrobird

    Astrobird Well-Known Member

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    Incidentally, I can remember American bison at Chessington back in the 1960s; I also recall seeing hybrids between American bison and Ankole cattle that were bred there during this period.[/QUOTE]
    Wow! they would have been interesting and most likely, impressive animals to see! How would you have described them? Big horns on a big beast?
     
  17. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I only saw very young hybrids never an adult with horns so, unfortunately, I wouldn't describe them as impressive.