Bucsani Wisent Reservation, Wallachia, Romania
> Wisent is also known as "the European bison".
> Few of them still exist in Eastern Europe.
> Bucsani is the largest reservation in Romania.
29 animals living in freedom, more than half of all of the wisents living in Romania. It's not any kind of animal but the haviest one on the continent.
Few travelers know about the wisents located only a few kilometers from Targoviste. The wisent ("zimbru" in Romanian) is related to the American bison and it is the heaviest animal in Europe. They're few of them remaining, most of them in the northern areas of Eastern Europe. Romania has 4 wisent reservations and 56 wisents; Zimbraria Bucsani, with 29 animals, is the largest one. The reservation is almost 2 sq km large and was created during the '80s when Ceausescu ordered to be created a new playground for his hunting pleasure. Today, the reservation is supported entirely by the local Forest Administration without any public or private aid.
A dying legend
Described in legends and Romanian folklore, the wisent disapeared from Romania at the end of the 18th century. It was reintroduced to Romania in 1958 from Poland, where a few animals were still living. Romania, Poland, Ukraine and Russia are the only countries that still have these animals living in freedom.
A wisent is typically 3m long and up to 2.2m high and weight up to 900kg. It has shorter hair on the neck, head and forequarters, but longer tail and horns. Wisent are now forest-dwelling. They have few predators (besides humans), with only scattered reports from the 1800s of wolf and bear predation.