Spanish bison back after 10,000 years

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After more than 10,000 years the European bison is back in Northern Spain. The species has successfully bred in the wild in the north of the country, bringing new hope to the prospect of its conservation.

Thanks to a European programme in collaboration with the Spanish Fund for the Protection of Wild Animals (FAPAS), two bison calves, called Pipa and Lipion, have been born.

The European bison has been an important species in Spain. Images of the animal have been found repeatedly in Paleolithic cave artworks.

There are currently only 4,000 European bison worldwide – but it is hoped that the new arrivals marks a new era in the conservation of this endangered species.

The Conservation Centre of the European Bison in Spain (EBCC) led the plan to reintroduce the animal into the wild in Spain.

The group released 16 animals from the Netherlands and Belgium to Spain’s Teverga, in the region of Asturias, in 2012.

The animals were monitored, but human contact was avoided in order to help their overall survival as a species. Three of the bison died due to the hard winter experienced in the area.

Despite this, the project has, so far, been considered a huge success, particularly with the recent births, hailed as vital for the survival of the species. 

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