Meet Bailey the Bison

Bailey the Bison

Bison-2Bailey is the Frisco Historic Park & Museum Mascot and is an American Bison.  Bison once roamed the Frisco area and were hunted by the Ute Indians.

The bison is a member of the bovine family. Commonly called “buffalo” (which is actually a different species not found in North America), it is the largest land mammal in North America. There are two subspecies: the wood bison in northern Canada, and the plains bison which once roamed across much of the continent. The bison has a large head with relatively small, curving horns. Its dark brown coat is long and shaggy on the forequarters, including the front legs, neck, and shoulders, while the rest of the body has shorter, finer hair.

Height 6-6.5 feet at the shoulder
Length 10-12.5 feet
Weight 900-2,000 lbs.; males are larger than females
Lifespan 18-22 years in the wild; over 30 years in captivity
Diet Bison mainly eat grasses and sedges
Mating Season June-September, peak activity in July-August
Gestation 270-285 days. Calf is born April-May
Litter size 1 calf

Bison-3-300x225Bailey the Bison Facts

  • The trails carved by animals like bison during their seasonal migrations formed some of the earliest traceable paths into the American wilderness, used by Native Americans, explorers and pioneers.
  • Historically, bison numbered an estimated 20-30 million.  As a result of over hunting in the 1870s, the population was reduced to 1,091 by 1889. Today, approximately 500,000 bison live across North America.
  • Bison move continuously as they eat so that they rarely overgraze an area.
  • A bison’s thick fur offers great protection against the harsh elements of the American plains. Their winter coat is so thick and well insulated that snow can cover their backs without melting.
  • In winter, bison can dig through deep snow with their heads to reach the vegetation below.
  • Bison have poor eyesight, but have acute hearing and an excellent sense of smell.
  • Bison can reach speeds of up to 35 mph.