Bison Homecoming

In 2022, the Bronx Zoo sent six zoo-born American bison, three male and three female, to Pawhuska, Oklahoma, where they joined the nearly 200 head of bison on the 43,000-acre Osage Nation Ranch.

Photo Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

This transfer was a significant step in the partnership between the zoo and the Osage Nation. It also represents the modern-day continuation of a conservation program that had its beginning more than 120 years ago when the bison population in North America numbered fewer than 1000 animals and the species was on the verge of extinction.

The efforts of the Bronx Zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s flagship zoo in New York City, and Indigenous tribes to restore bison in the American West at the turn of the 20th Century is credited as one of the first successful conservation programs and has become an important part of the Bronx Zoo’s conservation legacy.

Watch this docu-short that captures the history of the Bronx Zoo’s conservation work and how it continues today.

Credits: Executive Producer/Editor, Natalie Cash; Producer/Director of Photography, Jeff Morey; Associate Producer/Drone Operator, Katherine Gomero; Staff Photographer, Julie Larsen Maher; Special thanks to Max Pulsinelli

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Bison at the Bronx Zoo

WCS is continuing our tradition of using science-based solutions both in the field and in our wildlife parks to maintain viable bison populations, and to preserve this icon of American heritage.

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Protecting America's Majestic Bison

In an op-ed for the New York Daily News, WCS's Pat Thomas writes that the Bronx Zoo is extremely pleased to be a part of a second wave of bison conservation work focused on ensuring that our national mammal will continue to thrive in the American West long into the future.

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Bison from Bronx Zoo join herd at Osage Nation’s ranch

“The return of the bison holds great significance to Osage people,” said Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear of the Osage Nation. “Bison are not only a mark of our past; they are a symbol of our future.

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How the American Bison Became Our National Mammal

The story of the restoration of bison to the American West is one that is well known in both conservation and zoo circles.

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It's official: America's first national mammal is the bison

President Barack Obama signs into law the National Bison Legacy Act, which designates the bison as the official mammal of the United States.

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Bison is a Unifying Icon

No other native species tells America’s story better than the bison—a symbol of strength and Native American culture, writes WCS's John Calvelli.

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