Fort Stanwix National Park Service made a visit to Syracuse to welcome one of the newest residents of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo – a baby bison named Madison.
Madison was born on exhibit in May to parents Sue and Harley.
American bison once numbered in the millions, but bison came close to extinction by 1900, when only about 1,000 remained. Conservation efforts have restored the population to about 500,000 in zoos, preserves and protected parklands, officials say. In 2016, the American bison was named the official U.S. National Mammal.
Bison are also a key symbol of the Interior and National Park Service which made visiting Madison a real honor, Fort Stanwix officials said. Rangers Dan Umstead and Arielle Goellner went to see Madison and give the calf a few special gifts. The Rangers presented Madison and his care staff an Honorary Junior Ranger certificate and patch.
More gifts were included for the newest junior ranger. A framed history of the bison symbol, a junior ranger hat and a plush Buddy Bison toy were also presented. Goellner said that the park staff will watch Madison as he matures into an adult bison, adding that it will be “fun to watch him grow.” Madison is the second bison baby to be born at the zoo to Sue and Harley. The first calf, Abigail, was born in 2017. Madison received his name as part of the zoo’s “I Love New York” theme of naming new arrivals after cities and towns in the state.