Staff of the US Embassy in Moscow spent Saturday volunteering in the Prioksko-Terrasny reserve

The staff of the US Embassy in Moscow took part in the Volunteer Day held in the Prioksko-Terrasny reserve on July 28.

The team of 27 volunteers was divided into two groups. Participants in the first group took up painting vegetable storage, while the second group of volunteers helped to saw and remove fallen trees from the bison enclosures.

Just before the trip, the US Embassy in Moscow hosted a charity event to raise funds for participation in the program “Adopt a Bison”. Held since 2004, this program helps to attract sponsorship funds to improve the conditions of bisons in the breeding centre and thus continue long-term work of restoring the population of “the king of the bulls” in the wild of the European part of Russia, where the bison  population came to the edge of extinction in the twentieth century. The money from the  “adopters”  help to cover feed, vet care, maintenance of the Bison Breeding Centre infrastructure and other needs.

The staff of the diplomatic mission adopted a bison born a month ago in a mixed family (from a Dutch father Augustine and a Russian mother Mursedes). According to the rules of the International Bison Pedigree Classification, the baby-bison born in the Moscow region was given a name that starts with the letter Mu – Mubassador Tefft . The name will be entered in the stud book of the Bison Breeding Centre, which has been conducted since 1948.

The bison is a wild bull, the largest hoofed animal in Europe, a contemporary to the mammoth. The Prioksko-Terrasny State Nature Biosphere Reserve named after Mikhail Zablotsky today hosts 48 adult and 10 newborn bisons. The Bison Breeding Centre is a unique reservoir of this rare species, which played a significant role in saving bisons globally. Thanks to the work carried out in the breeding centre, it is now possible to revive the population of these endangered-species-list animals almost from the ground. Today in Russia there are more than 600 European bisons, and in the world – more than 6,000.

Besides, the breeding centre hosts a family of five American plains bison, the species next to the European bison, which helps conduct comparative studies and scientific and educational activities.

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