A real-life German prince is bringing back bison to Germany — one bull, five cows, and two calves. His small herd, which lives now in 220 closed-off acres, will be released and allowed to roam wild, the first bison in centuries to wander Europe.
These bison are a European variant called wisents. They weigh a ton — they’re even a little taller than American bison — and neighbors are a little bit nervous about having gigantic animals running around. But releasing them into the “wild,” in this case, means something pretty specific: The bison will likely hang out on the 30,000 acres that Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg controls. NPR reports:
European bison are not the first animals Prince Richard has brought back to the region. His estate is rife with gray geese and ravens, which he says he reintroduced at the request of the German government. Herds of red and roe deer, as well as wild sheep and boar, also abound on his property.
So it’s not exactly “the wild” — it’s a cushy approximation of what the wild once looked like. Plus, it’s Europe, so they probably get free universal health care. American bison: Get jealous.