European Bison

Bison bonasus

Large small relative

The European Bison is the largest land mammal in Europe and the “smaller relative” of the American Bison, with a shoulder height of up to two metres. Up to 20 females live among themselves, led by a leading cow. Adult bulls live separate from the females outside the mating season.


  • Origin

    Central and Eastern Europe

  • Habitat

    Caucasus (since 1927 extinct in the wild)

  • Diet

    Branches, leaves, grass, bark

  • Status

    vulnerable, first reintroduced with zoo stock in the 1950s

  • Size

    2,9 m

  • Weight

    Female up to 600 kg
    Male up to 1 t

  • Gestation period

    approx. 266 days

  • Achievable age

    up to 25 years

Threat Categories of IUCN

Big leaps, much behind

Despite their mass of several hundred kilograms, bison can jump up to 2 meters high and even overcome 3-meter wide ditches.


Without zoos, there would be no more bison in Europe!

The last wild European bison was shot in 1927. This species has only survived thanks to zoos like Tierpark Berlin and their commitment to conservation breeding. Some of the bison born in Berlin have now been successfully released into the wild.

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Opening hours

Today, 26. February
9:00 - 18:00
Last admission: 17:00
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