Big Male

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, Girdwood, Alaska

The Wood bison is the northern cousin of the Plains bison that roams many states down-below. It is bigger than the Plains bison and a large, mature bull will often weigh 2,250 pounds versus the 1,900 pounds of the smaller Plains. A mature cow will weigh about 1,000 pounds. Calves are born in May to July and are a reddish color for a few weeks. They begin to grow horns and develop a bison’s “hump” at about two months. The highest point of the wood bison is well ahead of its front legs, while the plains bison's highest point is directly above the front legs. Wood bison also have larger horn cores, a darker and woollier pelage, and less hair on their forelegs and beard.

Wood Bison Reintroduction Program

After more than 100 years of extinction in Alaska, wood bison have found their way back to the state of Alaska. The first of the AWCC Wood Bison herd arrived in November 2003 from the Yukon Territory in Canada and is part of a wood bison recovery program designed to reintroduce the species to Alaska. AWCC is home to the only wood bison herd in the United States. Wood bison hold the distinction as the largest land animal in North America. The first wood bison calves born in the state of Alaska in over 100 years were born at AWCC in 2005. In 2006, 7 calves were born and we have had 10 new-born calves this year (look for small orange “lumps” in the exhibit near the bushes).


Bison Range

Rnage - Light Brown

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