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First Baby Bison of the Season at Fermilab

First Baby Bison

The first baby bison of the season was born on April 28 and is now grazing it’s new 90-acre home! The first calf of the year was born in the late morning and both mother and baby are doing well.

“It’s always exciting to have the baby bison being born,” said Fermilab roads and grounds manager Michael Pfaff. “It’s one of the things that a lot of people at the lab and the surrounding community look forward to every year.”

Fermilab has already welcomed a second one, bringing the total number of its herd to 30.

Bison’s Beginnings at Fermilab

The first bison herd were brought to the particle physics laboratory in 1969 by the lab’s first director, Robert Wilson, to serve as a symbol of the lab being on the frontier of physics, much as the bison represent the frontier of the Wild West.

Fermilab has also done genetic testing on their herd and confirmed that there’s no evidence of cattle gene mixing, which means they are purebred bison.

“Bison have been bred with cattle, so there was some speculation that our bison were not 100 percent bison, so we did some genetic testing earlier this year and found out that they are, they are purebred bison which is even more of a rarity,” said Andre Salles, former media relations manager at Fermilab in 2016.

No Visits

Visitors can usually visit the new babies for free, but the lab is closed to the public due to COVID-19.

They expect to welcome 12 to 14 more bison babies this spring.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.


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