For the first time after 400 years the European bison is roaming free in Germany. The opening of the fence released a small herd, consisting of one adult bull, five cows and two calves, into a 10,000 hectare forest. Two of the animals are fitted with radio transmitters to allow scientists to track and follow them. The animals will roam entirely free in the large forests of the Rothaar Mountains around Bad Berleburg in North Rhine-Westphalia. It is hoped that the herd will grow to about 25 animals. The herd has been kept in an 88 hectare enclosure for the last three years and has been intensively studied by scientists and universities.

They have studied the behavior between man and bison, they have analyzed the role of the bison in the ecosystem and the impacts on biodiversity and also examined the impact on forestry. The conclusion was that: ‘bison are indeed great and powerful, but also very peace loving and shy animals, and present no risk to humans.' More information can be found on the German bison website.

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