Baby bison is newest addition at Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo

It's springtime at Brookfield Zoo and that means it's time for the pitter-patter of little hooves. 

The zoo welcomes its newest addition; a baby bison calf born May 16. 

She doesn't have a name yet but you can find her roaming around with her mom and dad at the zoo's Great Bear Wilderness Exhibit. 

This is the first bison calf birth at Brookfield Zoo since the 70's.

Her mother, Leotie, 3, arrived at Brookfield Zoo in 2009 from Wildlife Prairie State Park in Peoria to join the zoo's bison herd, which also includes the calf's father, Ron, 12.

Other bison at the zoo include; Judy, 12; Becky, 13; Drew, 13; and Lucy, 3.

Of course, the birth is a welcome addition considering the species was slaughtered to near extinction in the late 1800s. Back then, Bison were hunted for their meat and bones but primarily for their hides.

By the end of the 19th century, bison populations nearly extinct.

Today, bison are making a healthy comeback.

Approximately 500,000 are lving on ranches and tribal areas.  About 20,000 live in protected parks and preserves.

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