Bison ‘family’ brought together for a wild Christmas in Kent

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The females were only let into the full site in November and spent several months in a smaller holding area to ensure they were healthy and fit enough to go into the wild where they will be harder to monitor.

The bull does not have this period of pseudo-quarantine as there are no TB concerns for animals imported from Germany.

Blean has two full-time bison rangers who will track the so-called “ecosystem engineers” and keep an eye on their progress and health as well as monitoring the impact.

Mark Habben, the director of zoological operations at Wildwood Trust told the Telegraph earlier this year that the hope is for the bull – who has not been given a name – to mate with the younger females in the coming years and swell the size of the herd even more.

“It’s been a really interesting journey subsequent to the UK leaving the EU because the legislation to move animals between the UK and the European Union is rather turbulent. It’s been a challenge,” he added.

“I’m enormously proud of the team and all the work that has gone into getting us to this point, despite the red tape we’ve had to navigate and complications arising from Brexit,” Mr Habben said after the bull joined the four other bison in Kent.

“The arrival of the bull marks the start of the Wilder Blean journey in earnest and it’s incredibly fitting that it coincides with a new year. I can’t wait to see what the next twelve months will bring for this important project.”

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