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News Release 057

Contact: Steph Deidrick, 573-751-9392
                steph.deidrick@dnr.mo.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2014 Volume 42-14-057 

Spring brings bison babies at Prairie State Park

Jefferson City, Mo. - A sure sign of spring on the prairie is a baby bison sighting, and right now it’s calving season at Prairie State Park in Mindenmines. The park holds guided bison hikes on the first Saturday of each month, and the hike scheduled for Saturday, May 3 is a great opportunity for visitors to catch sight of a baby bison at one of the largest remaining tallgrass prairies in Missouri. Hike participants should meet at the park’s Nature Center at 10 a.m.

Late April through May is when the majority of bison calves are born. In 2013, there were an estimated 40 calves born at the park, a record number for the herd. The calves are orange or red in color for the first three months, and many visitors affectionately call them “pumpkins”. Bison calves are up and running within three short hours after they are born. Their mothers are very protective and they often keep the herd away from human activity.

In addition to viewing the bison, the park’s nature center offers many interpretive displays about the prairie, and several trails of varying length offer the chance to explore on your own. While hiking to view the bison, keep at least 100 yards between you and the bison. For your safety, pets are not allowed on the trails at Prairie State Park.

Prairie State Park is located 35 miles north of Joplin at 128 NW 150th Lane, Mindenmines, MO. For information about state parks and historic sites, visit mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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Celebrating 40 years of taking care of Missouri’s natural resources. To learn more visit www.dnr.mo.gov.