The Bison Park (Białowieża, Poland)- August 2019

by Steveandjustyna June. 23, 2020 180 views

To see a wild European Bison or auroch (Bison Bonasus), or the king of the forest as we say in Poland, has always been one of my biggest dreams. There is a handful of places in Europe where it is still possible to see these magnificent animals roaming freely. The biggest population (estimated at 770 individuals in early 2020) can be found in and around Białowieża Primeval Forest (Puszcza Białowieska), in the very Eastern part of Poland, right on the border with Belarus. These bisons are closely related to the North-American bisons (Bison bison). While the North-American bison lives on the open plains, the European bison prefers to dwell in the forest.

On August 25th 2019, we drove for about 3.5 hours from Warsaw to Białowieski National Park- a UNESCO listed site, Poland's oldest national park and "the place" to see the bisons. We checked in our "pensjonat" (guest house) and after a lunch decided to visit the"demonstration preserve" that showcases the species found in the National Park. We saw a bison family (with two calves), a red deer buck and does, a lynx, a moose, a żubroń or beefalo (a hybrid of domestic cattle and bison), wild hogs and wolves. After that we went for a stroll through the Palace Park located in the very center of Białowieża town.

Young male bison in the pen of the demonstration preserve.These massive animals seemed very gentle strolling around the pen. Only when we saw two young males sparing with their horns (practicing before mating season), that we got to see their awesome strength.

Young male bison in the pen of the demonstration preserve.These massive animals seemed very gentle strolling around the pen. Only when we saw two young males sparing with their horns (practicing before mating season), that we got to see their awesome strength.

Red Deer buck feeding on the grass.

Red Deer buck feeding on the grass.

At the gate to the Palace Park in Białowieża.

At the gate to the Palace Park in Białowieża.

Little summer "datcha" called Grodzień Governor's small manor house (Dworek Gubernatora Grodzieńskiego).This meticulously renovated building that is a historical landmark today is the oldest building in the Białowieża Primeval Forest region.

Little summer "datcha" called Grodzień Governor's small manor house (Dworek Gubernatora Grodzieńskiego).This meticulously renovated building that is a historical landmark today is the oldest building in the Białowieża Primeval Forest region.

The Governor's manor house served as the hunter's lodge for Russian tsars, princes and other high dignitaries during their visits to the region to hunt the bisons. During the World War I the building was converted into a field hospital, later into a mess hall.

The Governor's manor house served as the hunter's lodge for Russian tsars, princes and other high dignitaries during their visits to the region to hunt the bisons. During the World War I the building was converted into a field hospital, later into a mess hall.

Inside the Palace Park in Białowieża. So peaceful strolling along the river...

Inside the Palace Park in Białowieża. So peaceful strolling along the river...

There were many really big trees in the park .European oak or English oak (Quercus robur) is one of them.

There were many really big trees in the park .European oak or English oak (Quercus robur) is one of them.

Steve showing how BIG is the tree!

Steve showing how BIG is the tree!

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Bill Birdsong 4 months ago

Very nice.....I didnt know about the bison in Europe....never saw one in our years there!  the Dacha was interesting.  The gingerbread looks so much like the Craftsman Movement in US home building in the 20s,  I think.  Very pretty.  Thanks for taking us along!

4 months ago Edited
Steveandjustyna Replied to Bill Birdsong 4 months ago

Thank you Bill! As a matter of fact I saw an American Bison first, before I ever saw the his European cousin. The gingerbread house was pretty indeed. I think this style of decoration of the outside of houses was quite popular in Russia. Only know that from photographs of Russian villages.

Thanks for the comment!!!

4 months ago Edited
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