At approximately 10:15 a.m. on Saturday February 11th the Oklahoma City Zoo’s 16-year-old American bison, Ginger, took a leisurely stroll beyond her primary enclosure to explore her old stomping grounds, not accessible to the public, a few yards away. Ginger, who’s well known for her mellow disposition, had no involvement with Zoo visitors and was led back to her primary habitat a short while later.
The Zoo’s Animal Hoofstock and Guest Services teams were immediately notified of the bison’s roaming and with the use of positive reinforcement, specifically browse, or leafy branches, which Ginger loves to eat, she roamed back into her home habitat to join her fellow bison Mary Ann. Neither Ginger nor her keepers were ever in danger of physical harm.
“Ginger, like the rest of Oklahoma City, seemed to be inspired by the spectacular weather and took a nice little walk this morning. Though Ginger is not allowed to roam outside her primary habitat, we’re very happy to have quickly brought her back into her home range.” Said Laura Bottaro, Zoological curator.
American bison, also commonly known as American buffalo, are a North American species that once roamed the grasslands of North America in massive herds. About 6 feet tall and weighing anywhere between 950 to 2,200 pounds bison have an average life span of 12 to 20 years in the wild.
– Laura Bottaro, zoological curator