Belarusian bisons will be bred in Kazakhstan

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Ten bisons from the Belarusian National Park “Belovezhskaya Pushcha” went to Kazakhstan. According to the National Park’s website, Kazakhstan purchased three males and seven females aged 2-4.5 years for breeding in open-air cages. After live stocks increase the number of this micropopulation will be the basis for creating freely living bisons in the National Natural Park of Kazakhstan “Burabay”.

The animals were on the way during four days (the total distance is about 3,500 km). The bisons were accompanied by a forest ranger from the national park; he regularly fed the animals and gave them water. Having arrived in Kazakhstan the bisons were placed in a spacious open-air cage with a total area of more than 1,000 hectares.

“In general the bisons felt great on the way to Kazakhstan. We were worried because earlier we didn’t carry them by road over longer distances. Initially, the partners of Kazakhstan planned to use a charter flight. But they had to abandon that idea due to some financial problems. Apparently, for the same reason they didn’t consider to transport the bisons by train. “For example in the Soviet times the bisons were sent to the Caucasus by train,” said the Park’s Deputy Director for Science Vasily Arnolbik.

Before the bisons’ delivery there was a long preparatory phase. First of all, it was necessary to get permission from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The bisons were overlooked for a month; the specialists were finding out whether the animals had diseases. Each bison got a veterinary certificate in accordance with the requirements of the Customs Union.

There are many reasons for the expansion of Belarusian bisons. Now there are 462 animal units in the park; this number exceeds the admissible number set by scientists. “The creation of such bisons’ micropopulations contributes to the conservation of the world’s species gene that almost disappeared at the beginning of the 20th century,” said the Deputy Director.

In the Union State there was developed the program “The formation of an optimal areal for the European bison as a guarantee of its long-term conservation” (a road map for bisons) for 2014-2018. The program is aimed at restoring the former areal of this species on the territory of Belarus and Russia.

Text and pictures by TUT.BY