Batavia-based Fermilab welcomes first bison calf of the year

According to officials, the lab is expecting at least 16 more calves this spring.

SHARE Batavia-based Fermilab welcomes first bison calf of the year
An adult bison nudging a calf with its nose.

The first bison calf of the year was born Monday morning at Fermilab in Batavia, Ill.

Ryan Postel/Fermilab

Along with flowers, baby bison are in season at the Fermilab in Batavia as the national physics lab welcomed its first bison calf of the year Monday.

Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, or Fermilab, was established in 1967 as a United States Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab’s first director, Robert Wilson, established the herd in 1969.

The calf was born on Monday morning, according to a statement from Fermilab. The lab says it’s expecting 16 to 18 calves to be born this spring.

The herd currently has 32 bison with 30 females and two males that are switched out periodically to promote the herd’s health and genetic diversity. Through genetic testing, the lab says it’s confirmed the herd shows no evidence of cattle gene mixing.

Bison nearly went extinct in the 19th century, but thanks to conservation efforts, that’s no longer the case. Still, conserving the bison genome is still a federally recognized priority, the statement said.

The lab is currently closed to the public, but those who’d like to view photos or read more about the bison herd can visit Fermilab’s website.

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