SF CHRONICLE: Bison euthanized, but seven more on the way



Bison euthanized, but seven more on the way

One of the five bison living in Golden Gate Park was euthanized today, after suffering an apparent illness, zoo officials said.

But seven new buffalo will join the herd by the end of the year, bringing the all-female count to 11, recreation and park officials say.

The buffalo band at Golden Gate Park will soon see a boost in numbers.

Tenny, a 20-year-old female bison, isolated herself from the four others over the weekend, zoo spokeswoman Lora LaMarca said. Tenny was unable to stand, eat or drink and, after two days of medical treatment, zoo staff decided to euthanize her.

“We don’t know, truly, what the cause was other than it happened quickly,” LaMarca said. Vets will perform a necropsy.

The remaining buffalo include two 20-year-olds and two 28-year-olds — senior citizens in the buffalo world.

To replenish the herd, the Recreation and Park Department plans to buy new female bison from a ranch in Redding, said RPD Info, a department spokeswoman. Six will be purchased at a cost of $1,200 each, and one will be donated. The zoo will oversee their health and maintenance.

Though Chan didn’t know just how old the newcomers will be, they’re young enough that they won’t be weaned until around early November. To ease them into a herd, keepers will set them up in a fenced-section of the paddock, an area provided by Richard Blum, chairman of Blum Capital Partners and a member of the UC Board of Regents, Chan said.

Blum gave the current herd of bison to his wife, then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein, as a 1984 birthday gift.

American bison first were brought to Golden Gate Park in February 1891 by the Park Commission, in an effort to save a species on the verge of extinction. Now more than 200,000 bison exist.

Posted By: Stephanie Lee (Email) | July 05 2011 at 02:55 PM

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