Tribe bison includes two types: European and North American bison bison. Bison and bison belong to the largest herd animals. Their growth reaches 2-4 meters, and weight – 1.5 tons. But, although the magnitude and herd life saved them from predators, these giants suffered heavy damage from the person. Few wild animals so affected by human as a bison. The ancestors of the modern bison – bison primitive.
Once upon a time they lived in the territory of Siberia to the Atlantic coast. About half a million years ago, they moved to America by the Isthmus, which was on the site of the Bering Strait. Long before the New World the first Europeans arrived, the buffalo roamed the prairies have huge herds. Scientists believe that there were at least 60 million. Since the middle of the XIX century Americans mercilessly destroyed the buffalo. They were shot not only for skin and language, which is considered a delicacy, but also due to the fact that bison prevented cultivate fields. Because these animals for days idle train. They could not go, because the vast herds of continuous flow going through the rails. Bison killed just for fun. Sometimes even throwing dynamite herd.
But still the main cause of the carnage became Indians. White knew that the buffalo for the Indians – the main power supply. In addition, from the skins of buffalo Indians made their homes, sewed clothes and shoes. Made from the bones of arms and household utensils. Very long white could not defeat the Indians. But then came up with a way out. They began to kill the buffalo. Defenders of the buffalo turned to the commander of the forts General Sheridan to stop the shooting buffalo. Sheridan said to this, that not only did not stop the hunt, but thinks to give every hunter medal with the image of dying from hunger Indian. “The destruction of the buffalo there is a better way to deal with the Indians!” – The general said.
He was right. Left without food, the Indians soon surrendered. Bison by the time there are not more than five hundred. Only through the efforts of the “Society for the salvation of the buffalo,” Horledeem created in 1905, these animals were saved. Currently in the US there are 36,000 individuals.
Bisons are very curious, of particular interest to them cause newborn calves and adults crippled bulls and cows. Attracted by the smell of the killed bison, other members of the flock excitedly sniffing corpse, pushing his head in the hope that he would get to his feet, and put themselves under the shots of hunters.
In the Old World by 1923 there were only 56 bison – these European bison relatives. However, the creation of reserves in the Bialowieza Forest in the western Caucasus and saved these animals. Now they will have more than two thousand and 1.5 thousand more live in zoos. Now these animals out of danger. Although the area of modern bison movement is severely restricted, they lead the same lifestyle as their ancestors. The value of the herd may range from a small group of up to several thousand individuals. In the mating season, which begins in July, between adult bulls fights occur. The winner, proving their superiority, becomes the head of a herd of females. Pregnancy in buffalo lasts nine months, and calves remain with their mothers for about three years.
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