Bison Reserve in Pszczyna
The only place to see the bizons in Poland is the Bialowieza Forest, and… Upper Silesia.
The history of bisons in Pszczyna goes back to the 1865. At this time 4 bisons were transported to Silesia with a freight train from Bialowieza Forest as a gift from the russian tzar to the prince of Pszczyna – John Henry IX Hochberg. Both of them were the staunch hunters and for these purposes they downloaded the bizons in the vicinity of Pszczyna – the prince returned the favour with a herd of 20 deers. At the beginning of 20th century the bisons herd grew up to 74 heads and before the World War II the bizons from Pszczyna contributed to the restoration of the Bialowieza herd, which at that time was almost extincted. When in 1929 the restoration bagan, the herd in Pszczyna counted only 7 heads – the rest of them did not survive the World War I and the Silesian Uprisings. In 1948 the Directorate of State Forests decided to built nature reserve of 700 ha, where bizons are staying to the present day. Currently 31 animals are living in the reserve.
The bizons may be seen in the part called „Zwierzyniec” on the area of around 10 ha. Visitors can watch 7 bizons, selected from the herd, which inhabit nearby forest. Animals can be seen from the viewing platform.