In Germany they have released wisent into the Wild

2013 - 04 - 12

Yesterday Germany became another European country where there occurs the wisent population living freely. The biggest terrestrial mammal of the old continent was released into the nature yesterday in the mountains Rothaargebirge in a federative country of North Rhine-Westphalia. The locality is situated in the western part of the country, about two hundred kilometres far from the borders with the Netherlands. The wisents were released into the nature by German conservationists.

“I would like to congratulate conservationists in Germany on a successful project. For other countries in Europe it is surely an example worth following,” appreciated the project of the German conservationists Dalibor Dostal, the director of the European Wildlife conservation organisation. “Germany showed that wisents can live also in the most industrial country of Europe, with a lot of cities and very heavy traffic infrastructure,” added Dalibor Dostal.

The German conservationists released an eight-member wisent group into free nature. The animals had been before in a vast acclimatization fence for three years. The project of wisent return had enjoyed a great support of the local companies.

The wisent is the biggest freely living terrestrial vertebrate in Europe. Males can reach the weight of 530 to 920 kilogrammes, females of about one half less. At the beginning of the 20th century the species was about to extinct. After the First World War both freely living populations, in the Caucasus and in Polish Bialowieza, were exterminated and the species have survived only thanks to its breeding in captivity.

Thanks to reintroduction projects, the wisent has returned to a number of European countries: Poland, Russia, Lithuania, Spain, Belarus, Slovakia and the Ukraine. In Germany it was released into a vast fence in 2010 and the animals were living there in semi-wild conditions for three years. The reintroductions are being prepared in other European countries. European Wildlife organization is working on its own project of a wisent return in Central Europe.

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