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A FEMALE BISON WAS BORN IN THE OKSKIY RESERVE

30 april 2020
The first calf in the family of horned giants was born 19 April in the European bison breeding centre of the Okskiy Reserve, Ryazan Region.

Its mother was born in the Okskiy Reserve whereas its father who was brought from Sweden by WWF-Russia in 2017 in order to enrich the gene pool of the Russian bison breeding centre.

WWF-Russia and the Okskiy Reserve suggested holding an online campaign to name the calfand its future siblings. Choosing a name is not an easy task for the breeding centre because there are certain rules in creating names. According to the International classification of nurseries in each of them, the names of bison born there begin with certain letters. For example, the bisons of the Okskiy Reserve are named with the letters "Me..." (for example, Mefia, the mother of a newborn bison). Over 60 years, 450 bison were born here and the names are almost not repeated.

The newborn calf with mother
(с) Mikhail Dronov

At the end of the contest "Come up with a name for a bison", the jury of employees of the Okskiy Reserve and WWF experts received about almost 1000 of unique variants of names for bison. According to the results of the voting, the TOP 10 names of the winners were compiled, and the "Mevita" has won.

Now the bison breeding centre contains 43 bison, including a newborn calf. In 2019, 11 bison were born (6 bulls and 5 heifers). In May 2020, 3-4 more bison are expected to calve in the Okskiy Reserve.

The newborn calf with mother
(c) Ekaterina Tsibizova

It is quite possible that in a few years, when Mevita grows up, she will be released to one of the groups of its relatives in the Russian Caucasus. Today, there are three such groups. The last of them WWF began to form in the Turmonskiy Sanctuary, Republic of North Ossetia-Alania. "In August 2018, WWF-Russia released 10 bison there. However, this is not enough to create a stable population. - explains Valery Shmunk, the Director of Russian Caucasus Ecoregional Office WWF-Russia. - So the work continues. In March 2020 it was decided to release 8 more animals from the Okskiy bison breeding centre to the Turmonskiy Sanctuary. This plan was changed due to the Coronavirus and we faced some difficulties in the process of transporting horned giants. However, as soon as the situation return to normality, the work will be continued."

For additional information please contact
Head of Caucasus Ecoregional Office