Even North America’s most impressive mammals have to start small. Case in point: the baby bison that roam around South Dakota’s Custer State Park, home to one of the largest bison herds in the world with over 1,300 animals in its 71,000 acres.
The herd births several calves each year, and this past week saw the first one of 2019 greet the world, a cinnamon-furred calf that’s the park’s youngest attraction. It’s already doing well, grazing around the tall grasses with its mother, doing typical bison stuff as it gets its legs under it. You can check out all its adorable antics in this video.
While hundreds of years ago bison numbered in the tens of millions in North America, by the end of the 20th century their numbers were down to just over a thousand. Through conservation and breeding programs, there are nearly half a million on the continent, many of which you can see during a two-hour jeep safari at Custer State Park.
Spring is an especially good time to tour the park as in addition to baby bison, you’ll also see newborn elk, deer, and bighorn sheep. You’ll spot many of them while traversing the park’s 18-mile Wildlife Loop Scenic Byway. It’s also smack in the middle of South Dakota’s Black Hills, a short (by SoDak standards) drive to Mount Rushmore, Badlands National Park, and the world’s greatest variety store at Wall Drug.
So even if you’re not into adorable baby animals, this spring might be an ideal time to go check them out. It’s a much more rewarding experience than going to the zoo, and as cute as this video is, it’s a far more impressive site in person.