Realization of dreams

The history of the Central Bison Nursery begins long before the Great Patriotic War and is inextricably linked with the entire history of bison restoration in Russia and the USSR. From 1933 to 1939 years. in the USSR there was only one thoroughbred bison “Bodo”, kept in the reserve “Askania-Nova”.

Repeated attempts to acquire female bison abroad have not been successful. In 1939, after the annexation of Western Belorussia to the USSR, the bison nursery in the “Belovezhskaya Pushcha”, until September 1, 1939, was in the territory of Poland, passed under the jurisdiction of the USSR.
There was an opportunity to begin work on breeding bison in the USSR, using the animals contained there. In 1940, the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the Main Directorate for Reserves under the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR established a commission consisting of zoologists Academician Nikolai Mikhailovich Kulagin, MSU professor Sergei Alekseevich Severtsev and Mikhail Alexandrovich Zablotsky, then a senior researcher of the Caucasian State Reserve. Their task was to prepare for these works. M. Zablotsky and S. Severtsov in 1940 were sent to the “Belovezhskaya Pushcha”, where the identification of bisons were found there in the nursery, their condition was assessed and recommendations for their further maintenance were given. Then the Commission worked out a plan for the restoration of the bison in the USSR, which was to begin in 1941.
But in 1941 the Great Patriotic War began, the territory of the “Belovezhskaya Pushcha” in the first days of the war was occupied by German troops and the work on restoring the bison in the USSR was resumed only after the war ended. The organization and execution of the restoration of the bison in the USSR was entrusted to Mikhail Alexandrovich Zablotsky, who, after demobilization in December 1945 from the ranks of the Soviet Army, was appointed senior research fellow of the Main Directorate for Reserves to fulfill this task.