Wisent (European bison) (Bison bonasus)

According to some old written sources, the European bison was widespread in the forested areas of the Balkans in the early-historical time. In the Middle Ages it was referred to as 'zombar', and after 9th century A. D. in. — as 'zabar.' The latest find of wisent in Bulgaria is dated from 11-12th century A. D. It comes from the medieval settlement near the Garvan village (Silistra Region). In S Europe, incl. on the Balkans, the European bison disappeared much earlier due to the development of agriculture in the late Neolithic and early antiquity. The last wild specimen on the planet was shot in 1927 in the South Caucasus. All modern wisents are descendants of the 50 live survivors in several zoos scattered in the World before the World War II. Both preserved specimens of the wisents in NMNHS are of great historical value because they were shot personally by the King Ferdinand I in Poland, only three years before the total species disappearance in the nature of all of Europe west of the Black Sea.
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