It's not often you get to cross paths with an American Bison, especially if you've never been to their native North America. But a large zoo in regional Victoria can change that for you.
The American Bison road North America in huge herds. At one point had a population of more than 60 million in the late 18th century which dwindled to 541 bison in the wild in 1889 due to commercial hunting and disease.
Since then recovery efforts for the American Bison has grown the population once again with roughly 31,000 alive today in national parks and reserves in North America.
Halls Gap Zoo is the largest zoo in regional Victoria and is home to more than 160 species of native and exotic animals, recipes, and birds, all on the doorstep of the Grampians.
At Halls Gap Zoo you'll come across meerkat, giraffe, rhinoceros, cheetah, red panda, lemurs, macaws, and, of course, the fabled American Bison.
Halls Gap Zoo is privately owned, and set on 21 hectares of land just outside Halls Gap and started out life in 1982 as the Wallaroo Wildlife Park.
The zoo has two bison currently residing in the park, and now that Halls Gap Zoo is open after a temporary closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you can pay them a visit.
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Image credit: Bryce Olsen