Pasture improvements readied for S.F. bison

San Francisco’s famous bison will have a few more acres to roam in Golden Gate Park when improvements to their paddock are completed later this month.

Renovations to the facilities in the western portion of the park are 95 percent complete and include an expansion of the paddock area from eight acres to 12, according to the Recreation and Park Department.

The bison herd, now numbered at eight females, is one of the most unique and popular attractions in The City’s enormous and famous green space.

Brought to The City in the late 1800s to save them from extermination, the bison have survived in the park for more than 100 years, escaping the effects of inbreeding in the mid-1980s, thanks in part to two new bulls purchased by Richard Blum, Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has mandated that the San Francisco Zoo, which watches over the bisons’ care, improve the perimeter fencing to meet the organization’s current requirements.

Part of the improvement effort was bringing the paddock into compliance, said Recreation and Park Department spokeswoman Rose Dennis.

Started in April, the $1.2 million habitat improvement should be completed by October and includes a new 8-foot chain-link perimeter fence and new electric wire fence.

The facilities received new electrical wiring and water pipes to irrigate and provide water for the animals.

The fencing alignment expands the paddock area and provides more tree coverage for the bison to rest under. The bison handlers will also have safer access to the animals and the public will have better views of the bison, Dennis said.

“People come all the time because it’s an odd place for [bison] to be,” Dennis said.

In the meantime, the herd is “healthy and doing really well” as construction finishes up, the zoo’s Paul Garcia said.

dsmith@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Private vehicles were banned from much of Market Street in January 2020, causing bike ridership on the street to increase by 25 percent and transit efficiency by as much as 12 percent. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board approves new Better Market Street legislation

Advocates say traffic safety improvements don’t go far enough to make up for lost bikeway

San Francisco City Hall is lit in gold and amber to remember victims as part of a national Memorial to Lives Lost to COVID-19 on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco joins national COVID memorial ceremony

San Francisco took part Tuesday in the first national Memorial to Lives… Continue reading

The S.F. Police Department has canceled discretionary days off and will have extra officers on duty for Inauguration Day, chief Bill Scott said Tuesday. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
SF ‘prepared for anything’ ahead of inauguration, but no protests expected

Authorities boosting police staffing, security at City Hall

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health, said Tuesday that The City received only a fraction of the COVID vaccine doses it requested this week. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Unpredictable supplies leave SF running low on COVID vaccine

Reported reactions to Moderna shots prompt hold on 8,000 doses

The T Third Street train resumes service on Saturday, joined by a new express route between Bayview-Hunters Point and downtown.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Bayview-Hunters Point residents get first direct express bus to downtown

New Muni route to launch alongside the return of the T-Third train

Most Read