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Bison Ridge donates 2-yr. olds to Sand Hill Wildli

Reprinted: Copyright by National Bison Association; Westminster, CO. Bison Ridge donates two year olds to Sand Hill Wildlife Area (From Marquette County Tribune)

After a day filled with a series of unfortunate events two years ago, Jessie Turney looked down at the new born bison calf on her lap and gave him his name. "Snickets," she said last Monday at Bison Ridge Ranch in Packwaukee. "It had to be Snickets like Lemony Snickets and his series of unfortunate events in the movie (of the same name)." The new born calf was found outside the fence on a May day in 2008 and after being put back in next to her mother, ran, frightened, back through the fence no matter how many times they moved her in. "She just had been away from the mother too long before we found her," Turney said, "and was just too scared." So Snickets became a bottle baby, fed every two hours at first by Turney herself. Snickets joined three other bottle babies that year including Little Dude, born just 22 days earlier. Little Dude's misfortune began with his being born a twin. Turney explained that most times, if twins are born to the large beasts, they will reject one to give nourishment to the other. But last week Little Dude's and Snicket's early misfortunes which had already been changed to good fortune by being born at Bison Ridge, took yet another favorable turn when they left Bison Ridge Ranch to begin a new life at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Sand Hill Wildlife Area near Babcock. Bison Ridge donated the two-year olds to the refuge to add new genetic lines to the herd of about 20 that are kept at the 9,150 acre preserve. Turney had learned from a veterinarian that Sand Hill was looking for some new stock, but wasn't able to afford to purchase animals. "We're doing it for the bison," said Turney. "We're doing it for Sand Hill and for us, but mostly we're doing it these wonderful animals." To accompany Snickets and Little Dude to their new home was Carrie Milestone, Wildlife Technician for the DNR. "We maintain Sand Hill as barrens," Milestone said. "We have about 260 acres of bison range. It's been 15 years since we introduced new genetics into our herd. This is a great gift. There is no ways we could have bought animals."

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