I had to find out more about these magnificent creatures. They are breeded for their meat, and I really do not like to write about this after having seen them grazing so peacefully. But this is hippocratic. I eat meat at least once a week. Well, ............
There is a small branch of the American prairie in the northern part of the Danish island Funen. 160 bisons are grazing in the soft Funen landscape. Ditlevsdal is an old parish farm - situated in a scenic place close to the manor Langesø. This is an old Danish idyl but the bisons bring an exotic touch to the whole. I was astonished to hear that you can get guided tours in the summer season, where you'll see the special casing and pens, where the flock is being gathered, those huge animals cannot be caught by a lasso. There are five flocks, each flock with a bull, cows, young animals and calves.
The owners of the farm, Yvonne and Niels Henrik Ove were respectively medical secretary and accountant. They started in 1993 as the first in the North to breed the American bison. Now the bisons mean everything to them. The enterprise has developed from a small farm shop till tourist-visits and a large restaurant In the summer season the couple arrange activities at the bison farm for children and adults. In July and August is Bison-barbecue each Thursday night. The farm shop is inspired by Native American culture and bisons. Here is sold wine, applied art, souvenirs and of course bison meat which tastes like something between veal and venison.
Ditlevsdal has become a tourist attraction, but Yvonne Ove rejects that the main purpose is to entertain tourists. The Central point is the breeding of the bisons. She also says that one of the vaslues of Ditlevsdal, which must continue, is the animal welfare - they try to handle the animals as little as possible in order to give them as much peace and quiet as needed. So you are not allowed to scratch a bison behind his ear, the tonne-heavy animals are usually very harmless, but they must not be compared to Danish cattle. If they get alarmed they might attack.
Source: Article in Ekstrabladet by Jørgen Lind, 24 Juli 2009.
I shall not involve myself in writing a story about the Amercian bison, it' s a complicated history, but I have gathered a few interesting facts from Wikipedia:
The heaviest wild bull ever recorded weighed 2,800 pounds (1,300 kg)
Bison is a Greek word meaning ox-like animal,
Bison herds are difficult to confine, because they can jump over or crash through almost any fence.
Bison were the most numerous single species of large wild mammal on Earth
|Are you really able to jump the fence?|
photo 10 September 2011: grethe bachmann