The first buffalo calf of the spring, a bull calf, in Custer State Park was spotted on Tuesday. It was found by park staff near the Wildlife Station Visitor Center off the Wildlife Loop Road, on the east side of the park.
The park has about 850 head of bison going into the spring and is expecting around 400 calves. The herd size should be around 1,250 at the Annual Buffalo Roundup in September.
"Spring is a great time to view wildlife in the park," said Chad Kremer, buffalo herd manager. "Deer, antelope, turkey and buffalo can be seen throughout the park right now, and sharp-tailed grouse are strutting on their leks."
Visitors are advised to leave buffalo calves alone. It can be dangerous to approach baby animals, particularly buffalo calves. If a mother buffalo feels she or her calf is threatened, she may charge. "Occasionally, people will think a buffalo calf has been orphaned and try to rescue it," said Kremer. "This is rarely true; buffalo may roam up to one mile from their calves and come back later for them."
Most buffalo calves are born in May, but a few arrive near the end of March, like this little fellow, into early April at Custer State Park.
For additional information on Custer State Park, please contact the park at 605-255-4515 or visit www.custerstatepark.com.