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Netherlands

(Home page wisentproject: https://www.wisenten.nl/en/project )

(Current location of the herd: https://www.wisenten.nl/en/where-are-they)

(News: https://www.wisenten.nl/en/news)

Wisents (European bisons), 26 January, 2021

Unique chance, they are all along the trail and no warden to keep us at a distance, unlike in the weekend!

Over the last 12years, this is the first time I see them along the trail.

In the past, they were more shy, imported from Eastern Europe, but now they are all born Dutch nationals, never seen a predator like a wolf or bear.

This explains why we could take the pictures below, just as docile as dairy cows, even the bull.

A dairy bull tends to be dangerous as he has no herd to enjoy.


Note that the area is only accessible from 1 September to 1 March due to the calving season. The mothers may be very protective about their newly-born calves.


Herd.


Location of the herd on 26 January at 13:00 h. Maximum mgration speed of the herd is 100 meters per hour.

Bull on he trail. Tells us to move. Signals to watch, based on Arctic muskox herds and lonely bulls (also see: https://www.treks.org/a_muskox.htm):

  1. Eye contact (fine, but are you not to close?)

  2. Head down (not good, you are to close)

  3. Snooring (risky)

  4. Hooves scraping the ground (very risky);

  5. Charge at 40-60 km per hour (tends to stops in time but not always).


Bull, resting. But keeping an eye on us.

Herd.

Herd, slowly migrating while eating.

Young bull on the hill.

Hugo.

Herd migrating.

Jean, a must take selfie.

Bull, scratching.

Hugo and the teacher. She was also here two days ago, a “wisent groupie” like me?

Bit too close, but no signals.

Herd.

“Walking with the European bison”, a serene experience.