The European Bison (Bison bonasus) is a close relative of the American Bison (or buffalo) from which it got separated when some of their common ancestor emigrated to the American continent during one of the ice ages.
Wild roaming European Bison were extinct after the First World War and later reintroduced in Poland and Belarus. The Polish animals are protected and kept in the two wildlife reserves of Bialowieza and Puszcza Borecka (“Borker Heide” in German). It is the latter that I visited in March 2011 to get a view and, hopefully, some usable pictures of these impressive animals.
The approach was only possible with the help of the local wildlife ranger who was kind enough to take me in his 4WD vehicle so that I came close enough to make my photos. See also http://hhsiegrist.zenfolio.com/p728897681.
A careful look at the photographer
He’s not that dangerous
Mother and child
and a friendly male
Just when I was taking the above picture the ranger reminded me that it would be wise to return behind the vehicle just to be on the safe side. The close proximity of these animals was a wonderful experience.