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New bison calf joins herd at Wildlife Safari Park
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New bison calf joins herd at Wildlife Safari Park

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Baby bison

NEW BABY: A bison calf born on May 11 rests in the grass as other members of the herd look on at Wildlife Safari Park near Ashland. (Photo provided by Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park)

OMAHA – The bison herd at Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park in Ashland has grown by one — a calf born on May 11. Visitors can see the auburn-colored calf roaming Bison Plains with mom and the herd.

Bison calves will turn dark brown a few months after birth, the same time their characteristic hump and horns start to grow.

Since its opening in 1998, the Wildlife Safari Park has played a key role in conserving bison and educating the public about the critical challenges impacting the native species and the national mammal of the United States. Wildlife Safari Park currently has 32 bison, including the calf.

Named the “Best Safari Park” in the country for 2021 by USA TODAY 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards, the Lee G. Simmons Wildlife Safari Park offers four miles of drive-through North American wildlife viewing from the comfort of your own vehicle. Visitors will see a variety of animals in their natural habitats, including more than 60 American elk spread across the 50-acre Elk Meadow and a 10-acre wetlands area with American white pelicans.

Visitors can explore Prairie Dog Town, and see other animals, such as white-tailed deer, Sandhill cranes, trumpeter swans and bison, the largest terrestrial and heaviest land animals in North America. Guests also can explore two miles of hiking trails. By visiting Wildlife Safari Park, visitors are not only supporting conservation efforts such as its Cheetah Breeding Center, but also efforts around the planet.

Last month, the park dedicated the new Darrald Harsh Wildlife Education Center. The new facility, which will host scout programs, photography classes, campouts, animal encounters, educational events and be the home base for the volunteers at the park.

Along with the 2,000 square feet of educational space inside the center, there is also about 500 square feet of outdoor space on the front and back porches where visitors can interact with nature. The back porch is just feet away from Pawnee Creek, which runs through the park grounds. It is also within walking distance of the Hands-on Corral, eagle aviary, Crane Meadow and the viewing tower, Pawnee Creek Café and the paths that lead to Wolf Canyon where visitors can see American black bears and grey wolves.

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