Two bison calves have been born at Brookfield Zoo, the Chicago Zoological Society announced Thursday.
Officials said a male and a female calf were born less than one week apart at the zoo. The male calf was born to 5-year-old mother Leotie on May 31, and the female calf was born to its mother Lucy, also 5 years old, on June 6.
Both the new calves and their herd can be seen by visitors Saturdays and Sundays in the zoo’s Great Bear Wilderness habitat beginning June 16.
Once construction on the habitat area is completed, the calves and herd will be viewable daily, zoo officials said.
Bison are the symbol of the Chicago Zoological Society because they are one of the first North American conservation success stories, officials said.
“By the end of the 19th century, bison populations were eliminated over 98 percent of their range in the lower 48 states, resulting in fewer than 1,000 individuals remaining,” according to a release from the CZS. “Today, bison are making a comeback.”
Bison calves are born with a reddish coat at birth, and over a period of about 15 weeks it darkens to dark brown. They are able to stand within a half hour of their birth and can run after a few hours.