Rosamond Gifford Zoo Adds Male Bison, Female Red Wolf to Wildlife Trails Exhibits

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is pleased to announce the addition of a male American bison named Harley and a female red wolf named Cheyenne to exhibits in the zoo’s Wildlife Trails area.

Harley is a two-year-old bull and resides with females, Hope and Sue, who came to the zoo earlier this year. Cheyenne is 19–months-old and will be paired with the zoo’s 10-year-old male red wolf, Waya.

Harley was acquired from the Lehigh Valley Zoo in Schnecksville, Pa., and was the first bison born through the zoo’s breeding program. He is the son of herd leader, Big Boy, a 10-year-old bull.

Cheyenne comes from the Wolf Conservation Center (WCC) in South Salem, N.Y., as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP). The SSP manages and conserves a select and typically threatened or endangered population with the cooperation of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, certified related facilities and approved non-member participants. 

Both Harley and Cheyenne can now be seen on exhibit. The bison exhibit is located across from Penguin Coast; the red wolf exhibit is next to Asian Elephant Preserve.

“We are very pleased to welcome both Harley and Cheyenne to our zoo family. Each of these species is a testament to the individual Species Survival Plans in which our zoo participates in addition to global conservation efforts,” says Zoo Director Ted Fox.

Bison are symbolic of the Great Plains and iconic in the history of our nation. They once covered a great deal of North America, numbering in the millions. During the 19th century, some 50 million were hunted for meat, hide and sport and nearly decimated. Thanks to conservation efforts their numbers have rebounded and the species is now considered near-threatened. There are close to 1 million bison in the U.S.

Red wolves are among the rarest mammals in North America and were at one time extinct in the wild. The red wolf is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Current estimates place the wild population of red wolves around 50-75, their lowest levels since the late 1990s. Approximately 300 remain in the world, with the majority residing within the network of facilities like the Rosamond Gifford Zoo and the WCC, both of which participate in the red wolf SSP.

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