Monarto Safari Park

A trison of bison! Three calves join the herd at Monarto Safari Park

A trison of bison have joined the herd at Monarto Safari Park!

Three little American Bison calves were born within two days of one another last week to four-year-old Moneypenny, four-year-old Rose and three-year-old Erika.

Keeper Tash Walker said the calves were the last descendants of breeding male Derek, who passed away earlier this year.

“Derek was loved by all of us and it was very sad when he left, so it was a nice surprise to have three little descendants join the herd last week,” she said.

“In the near future, we will have a new male join the herd, who will bring vital genetics so we can continue the breeding and conservation of this amazing species that are near threatened in the wild.

“The calves are extremely cute and have formed a little crèche and they love playing all together. Moneypenny, Rose and Erika have been mums before so they are smashing it and doing a great job.”

While the team haven’t named or sexed the calves yet, Tash thinks with a Molly, Wally, Holly, Erika, and previously Derek the rhyming name tradition might have to continue for the newest additions to the herd of 14.

“I think if one of the calves is a male, it might have to be Merrick after his dad! Or maybe James to go with Miss Moneypenny…!”

Characterised by their long, shaggy brown coats, the herd spends the majority of their days grazing in their fifteen-hectare habitat.

A typically a calm species, at times they can become very excited, rolling around vigorously in the dirt, jumping around on all fours, or rubbing their large heads against tree stumps or logs.

Tens of millions of American Bison once dominated the grassy plains of North America, however during the 19th-century commercial hunting, habitat loss, and bovine diseases drastically reduced their numbers, almost to the point of extinction.

The American Bison population has today partially recovered but is still classified as near threatened with only 15,000 individuals remaining in the wild.

You can see the little bison trio from the Zu-loop bus when visiting Monarto Safari Park. To find out more, please visit

About Zoos SA

Zoos SA is a not-for-profit conservation charity that exists to connect people with nature and save species from extinction.

Zoos SA acknowledges the Country on which we stand always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land and we pay our deepest respect and gratitude to Kaurna (Adelaide Zoo) and Ngarrindjeri (Monarto Safari Park) Elders, past, present and emerging.

We undertake critical conservation work throughout Australia and acknowledge the traditional custodians of these lands.

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