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Brookfield Zoo’s family tree just got bigger.
A bison calf was born May 16 to her 3-year-old mother Leotie and was recently added to Brookfield Zoo's Great Bear Wilderness exhibit, joining six others in the bison herd.
The female calf, still nameless, marks the first bison birth at the zoo in more than 30 years, a welcomed site for the nearly extinct species currently making a comeback.
"The bison is the symbol of the Chicago Zoological Society (CZS), which manages Brookfield Zoo, because it is one of the first North American conservation success stories," said Amy Roberts, curator of mammals for the society, in a statement. "We hope that when guests see this charismatic calf they will be inspired to take action in their everyday life to help ensure that these creatures and their natural habitats will flourish for future generations."
The 7.5-acre exhibit, which debuted in 2010, is one of the largest natural habitats taken on by Brookfield Zoo and is also home to polar bear, grizzly bear, bald eagle and Mexican gray wolf. Residing in a prairie-style environment, the bison herd is the first animal encounter on the exhibit walk.
Brookfield Zoo, located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (Interstate 55) and Eisenhower (Interstate 290) expressways, is open year-round for Chicagoans and visitors to experience the wildlife.