Zubron (Wisent-Cattle Hybrid) - Wiki
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[Photo] ??ubro?? are hybrids of domestic cattle and wisents. ??ubro?? in Białowie??a National Park. "I took this picture of a Zubron in the animal reserve in Bialowieza National Park in Poland." Photo by Cloudfish
??ubro?? (pronounce: ['??ubr????]) or Zubron is a hybrid of domestic cattle and wisent. The Wisent (??ubr in Slavic Languages) is the European Bison hence the Zubron is analogous to the American Beefalo. The name ??ubro?? was officially chosen from hundreds of proposed names sent to the Polish Przekr??j weekly magazine during a contest organised in 1969.
It was first created by Leopold Walicki in 1847, although earlier natural creations might have been possible. After World War I various scientists thought of ??ubro?? as a possible replacement to domestic cattle. ??ubro?? turned out to be more durable and less susceptable to disease. In addition, it could be bred on wasteland, without any farm infrastructure and with minimal husbandry in huge state owned PGRs. Since 1958 the work on ??ubro?? herds was continued by the Polish Academy of Sciences in various laboratories, most notably in Białowie??a and Młodzikowo. During the first 16 years of experiments a total of 71 animals were born, including Filon, the first ??ubro?? born to a ??ubro?? mother (August 6, 1960).
The animal was to become a durable and cheap alternative to cattle and the experiment was continued until the late 1980s when the results of the breeding programes were deemed unsatisfactory. Severe "temporary" economic difficulties of Polish socialist economy in the 1980s, lack of interest from the notoriously ineffective PGR with no large private farms in eastern Europe as an alternative (an effect of communist land reform) and fears that ??ubro??s will crossbreed with the endangered Wisents degenerating their gene pool played a large role in the decision. The two notable centres of experiments on the species were Ł??kno (391 animals altogether) and Popielno (121 animals). Limited experiments were also held in the reserve of Askania Nova in the USSR. However, it was discontinued and currently the only surviving herd consists of only several animals and is kept at Bialowieski National Park. However, as of 2007 there are press releases suggesting that the breeding and experiments are continued in Karolewo in Greater Poland.
??ubro??s are heavy animals with males weighing up to 1200 kilogrammes and females up to 810 kg. They are strong, immune to most diseases and harsh weather. Males are infertile in first generation. Females are fertile and can be cross-bred with both parent species, i.e. with cattle or wisents, and males from these backcrosses are fertile.
|The text in this page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article shown in above URL. It is used under the GNU Free Documentation License. You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the GFDL.|