Żubr - what does it eat, where does it live and how long does it live? General characteristics

The bison is the largest herbivorous mammal living in Europe. What distinguishes it, how many lives, what does it eat and where does it live? Find out more about this unique species.

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1. Żubr - description

The bison is the largest living animal in Europe. It is said that he is the undisputed king of the forest - huge, strong and formidable in appearance. At a time when European areas were covered by lush forests in large numbers, European bison had a large area to live in, but today it is a rare species, and wild bison is found very rarely - only in special and few places in the world.

Bison choose mixed forests to live. In summer, they concentrate in humid places, sometimes also in marshy areas. In winter, they prefer rather dry places, so they tend to go to higher places.

They are herd animals, although old males and females choose a solitary lifestyle more often.

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2. What does the bison look like?

The bison is impressive with its appearance - it is powerful, massive and horned. Its characteristic feature is a clearly visible hump on the spine. The size of the European bison is influenced by two factors: sex and age.

When it comes to the weight of the male, there is quite a wide range here - lighter individuals weigh about 440 kg, while the really powerful ones reach up to 920 kg. Their height in the so-called the withers may be up to 188 cm. Females are much lighter - usually they are in the range of 320 - 640 kg.

Although European bison are powerful animals and it might seem that they are slow and sluggish as a result, they are very physically fit. Not only are they able to run 40 km / h, and jumping over a two-meter-sized fence or a wide stream is not a challenge for them.

Apart from the fact that European bison gather in herds, they like to have their own territory to which they return after long journeys. They enjoy bathing in mud, rolling in dust and rubbing against a tree trunk.

3. What does the European bison eat?

European bison are herbivores - their food consists mainly of green plants, such as grasses, herbs, and forest shrub leaves. In winter, when green plants are lacking, the bison's food consists of twigs of trees, shrubs, bark and lichens. Żubr is active during the day and at night, but mainly in the early morning and after dusk.

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4. How long does a bison live?

Bison are not considered to be animals that have a long life. Males live for quite a short time - usually around 20 years, while females live a little longer, but hardly ever exceed 25 years.

5. Bison in Poland

According to the latest data from 2019, there are more European bison in Poland. At the end of 2019, a report was presented according to which there are 2048 bison in free herds and 221 in closed farms in our country.

In total, Poland is inhabited by 2,269 bison. This result has significantly improved compared to 2017, when there were 1,873 of them in Poland.

The largest number of animals is in the free population of Białowieża - 770 bison, second in the Bieszczady Mountains, where there are 668, then in the West Pomeranian herd, 173 in the Knyszyn Primeval Forest and 112 in the Borecka Primeval Forest.

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