Category: Herbivore

Location: Safari Drive

About Bison

Also known as the wisent, the European Bison is the heaviest land mammal in Europe. They are part of the Bovidae family, just like domestic goats and cows, and are often mistaken for buffalo. At Knowsley Safari, you can find our bison at zone 9 on the Safari Drive in Eurasia.

The current population of European bison is thought to be around 6,000 in the wild. They are found in Poland, Belarus and the Białowieża Forest. They like mild temperatures and coniferous forests but have been pushed out of their natural habitat by farming and forestry.

European Bison are nomadic grazers and tend to travel in herds. The bulls leave their mothers when they reach 2-3 years of age and sexes generally only mix for mating. Although they may appear to be peaceful, bison can be quite temperamental and can reach an impressive speed of 35mph.

Name: European Bison

Location: Białowieża Forest in Poland and Belarus

Population: Over 6,000m mostly in Poland

Status: Vulnerable

Threats: Humans

Icon / Arrow / Left Created with Sketch.
Icon / Arrow / Left Created with Sketch.

Fun facts about European Bison

With such a large looming size, it is easy to be intimidated by the European Bison. They are tough and confident and isolated. Whether you are preparing for your visit to the safari or just want to know a bit more about these gigantic land mammals, we have some huge bison facts.


  • Icon / Lightbulb Created with Sketch.

    Wild bison are considered a source of pride for many rural villages in central and eastern Europe

  • Icon / Lightbulb Created with Sketch.

    They have a life expectancy of up to 25 years in the wild

  • Icon / Lightbulb Created with Sketch.

    Bison can often measure up to 10ft long and weigh up to 1,000kg!

European Bison facts - Your questions answered!

Poland is the European country with the most bison. More than 20 herds have been reintroduced into the country since 1980.

European bison are herbivores so they only eat plants such as grasses and foliage.

Bison and buffalo are often mistaken for each other. However, buffalo are native to South Asia and Africa whereas bison are from North America and Europe. Compared to buffalo, bison have big humps on their shoulders, bigger heads, beards and thick coats.

Bison are classified as Vulnerable. By the 20th century, European bison were on the verge of extinction and the number of European bison has steadily increased with the help of breeding programmes and conservation efforts.

On average, the European Bison weighs around 610kg. However, on rare occasions, a fully grown bull can weigh up to 1,000kg.

Meet our European Bison

Where to see the European bison at Knowsley Safari

Drive past our bison on the Safari Drive and see them in zone 9, Eurasia.

Icon / Arrow / Left Created with Sketch.
Looking for something?