At the Detroit Zoo
Female May – the most dominant of the herd – has called the Detroit Zoo home since 2001. Male Takoda (Sioux for "friend to all") and female Teetonka (Sioux for "talks too much") were born in 2007 and arrived at the Zoo in 2008. The bison roam their American Grasslands habitat next to the prairie dogs.
The bison is the largest mammal in North America. It has a bulky head, stocky neck, large shoulder hump, robust body, and short upward-curving horns. The coat is shaggy, dark and long on the head, neck, shoulders and forelegs, and short and brown on the rest of the body. Females are slightly smaller and more slender than males, but both have horns.
Scientific name: Bison bison
Continent: North America
Size: 6-11 feet long; up to 6 feet at the shoulder
Weight: 700-2,200 pounds
Diet: The bison is an herbivore, feeding on grasses, sedges and other plant material.
Reproduction: Gestation 270 to 285 days; single calf
Lifespan: 40 years
Conservation Status: Near Threatened. The species was hunted to near extinction through the late 1800s. Conservationists launched national recovery campaigns, increasing the population. Only a small fraction of the current population exists in the wild, the other portion living in commercially produced herds. Current threats include habitat loss and reduction in genetic diversity.
Despite its bulky form, a bison can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour.