The Bison Breeding Centre was created in the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve in 1948. The first pupil was Puslav the bison, which came to the Moscow region from Polish reserve Belovezh on Mikhailov Day, November 21, 1948, the birthday of its founder, Mikhail Zablotsky. According to Mikhail Alexandrovitch, it was his best birthday present ever.
The Bison Breeding Centre is a place of bison breeding in Russia, a platform for scientific research on biology, ecology, the European bison ethology, methodology of its keeping, feeding and transportation. The breeding centre also provides training and internship for specialists from other bison breeding centres.
The bisons are kept in the conditions close to their natural habitat, inside a 200-hectar forest territory enclosed with a cancellated fence, so that each adult bison could have 5-6 hectar of forest pasture. Besides natural pasture forage, bisons get combined feed and woody forage. Today 20-25 bisons live and propagate here, to be later resettled in the places of wild habitat and captive breeding. The reserve experience is implemented worldwide for organizing work on other rare species conservation.
The European Bison is so far the only example of a wild species which was completely destroyed by human, and conserved only in captivation. This species was saved thanks to many years of aligned work of Russian and European specialists. The staff of the Bison Breeding Centre has also made an important contribution: over 600 calves have been born with 70% of them having been resettled to different places in Russia and abroad. Now the amount of the world European bison population accounts to 4500 heads with 3000 animals living in the wild, and the rest in breeding centres, zoos and zoological gardens worldwide.