An important event took place in the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve – on December 18, 2019, young bison from the Central Bison Nursery left their native forests near Moscow and embarked on a long journey to a new house.
The new place of residence for our pets is the Bryansk Forest Reserve, where work has been ongoing for about ten years to create a stable free bison population.
Long months of preparation were left behind, strict genetic and veterinary control was passed, a special tagging was carried out with label. The right ear of each animal was decorated with a red label with a number. In this way, all young bison are now marked in preparation for removal. As soon as the necessary formalities were observed, the complex and painstaking work of transporting animals began.
Nine young bison left the nursery – five females and four males born in 2018. The first task was to place everyone in transport cages prepared for transportation. It is very difficult to persuade young bison weighing several hundred kilograms to do something against their will. Only patience and vast experience of nursery staff help in this.
A young bull named Mudzyuba showed his obstinate character and until the last did not want to enter the transport cage. He was bothered by people scurrying around, no goodies helped – having eaten almost a bucket of carrots, he did not make concessions. But as soon as Mudzuba was left alone, the wayward bull entered the transport cage itself. They didn’t go on the road right away, the animals were allowed to rest and calm down. Quite a lot of time passed before the cars set off on a difficult eight-hour journey.
All bison born in the Central Nursery of the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve receive a nickname starting with the syllable “Mu”. Nicknames are given by employees of the reserve and often have an interesting history. For example, the female bison Mugenia is named after the director of the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve Yevgeny Grigoryev, the female Mulgazhat is named after the Polish bison specialist, curator of the pedigree book, Malgozhata Bolbot, and the nicknames Mudzyub and Mundial, as we think, do not need an explanation. Also this year, females Mudra, Mukura, Murena and males Mufodiy, Mumario went to Bryansk Forest Reserve.
Now in the reserve “Bryansk Forest” there are already more than 90 bison. As Elena Sitnikova, deputy director for research at the reserve, says: “Most likely this is our last delivery of bison from the nursery; in the future we plan to import bisons from free populations. But we will take bison from the nursery in exceptional cases, for example, when there is a need to “renew blood” and there are suitable options in the nursery. ”
Irina Zemlyanko, Head of the Central Bison Nursery of the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve, noted: “Yes, our task of replenishing the population in the Bryansk Forest reserve has been completed, but this does not mean that single animals will not be imported there to improve genetic diversity.”
Over the nearly 71-year history of the Central Bison Nursery, more than 400 bison have been resettled in protected areas suitable for free keeping and new breeding points.
Work on the return to nature of the last wild bull in Europe continues. The central bison nursery stores the gene pool and replenishes the free bison population in Russia.
And we want to wish our pets good luck and a long happy life in a new place!