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5 young bison join San Francisco's Golden Gate Park

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SAN FRANCISCO — Five young bison have joined San Francisco's Golden Gate Park doubling the bison population in time for the park's 150th anniversary.

The 1-year-old female bison arrived at the park in the heart of the city Friday, bringing the total number of bison to 10 in the paddock that has existed since the 1892.

“Bison have been part of Golden Gate Park for more than a century and these five new residents connect us to our storied past and represent our exciting future,” said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.

The new humpbacked shaggy-haired wild ox were brought to San Francisco from the Northern California ranch where they were born. They will be formally introduced to the public on April 4, the park's anniversary, Ginsburg said.

The youngsters will spend 30 days in their own pasture, separated from the current bison herd, so they can acclimate to their new surroundings in a meadow near Spreckels Lake.

The bison were purchased with a $50,000 donation to the San Francisco Zoological Society by Richard Blum, an investment banker and husband of Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

Besides more bison, the park will celebrate it anniversary with the opening of a 150-foot observation wheel, a kids carnival, community picnics, a large display of the iconic AIDS Memorial Quilt, live entertainment and free entry into all park museums and cultural centers.

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