I so longed to see bisons in their natural environment, but it never seemed to be the right time for it. I knew there is a place in the middle of the country – Hațeg Slivuț or in Neamț county. My friends took me on a road trip not far from Bucharest where I could see the one ton cousin of the American buffalo – Bison Bosanus, the European species.
The bison was almost extinct a century ago, it still is, but some good hearted people found a way to reintroduce this majestic animal into its natural habitat.
Not far from Bucharest, at some 80 kilometres towards Târgoviște, in Dâmbovița county, one can admire bisons in their habitat, at Zimbrăria Neagră (Black Bisons Place). If you have more time to spend, you can also visit 5 places around Bucharest.
Location: The road to Zimbrăria Neagră took about an hour and a half, being located about 80 kilometers north of Bucharest. We chose the exit to Chitila (you can also follow the road to Ploiești), then we followed the GPS to the destination. You can find the location here. After the asphalt of the county road, the access to Zimbrărie is on a beautiful forest road that made me dream of a bike ride.
Recently, I was glad to hear that the bison is no longer on the list of endangered animals, as it has been in recent years. It was once present on the country’s coat of arms and in the wild places of our country and I hope I’m not mistaken in saying that it is the largest animal in Europe.
Coming back to my visit, we arrived around noon on a Sunday in December (when it gets dark earlier and access is shorter, but tourists are not as many) and we were relieved to find out the visiting schedule was until 3 p.m. We paid for our tickets and headed for the circular observation pavilion in a corner of the bison enclosure. I was cursing in my mind because I forgot the camera at home, so I’m sorry for the quality of the photos taken with the phone. 🙁
The bison family didn’t care too much about our presence and stayed away. At some point a wish came to my mind: It would be great to see one of them more closely. And yes! My wish has been fulfilled! My animal-lover friend decided to call a bison to her, and one of them, the most curious of all I noticed, began to take shy steps. She took three steps, he moved towards her three steps and so on, until we could enjoy the royalness of this animal in all its beauty.
The bison is an imposing animal, from the Bovidae family, with a nutrition similar to cows and horses, but with a weakness for berries. :))
On our way out we also visited the small hunting museum near the entrance, where there are several animals specific to our geographical area, this time stuffed.
Ticket price: 6 lei / person (around 1 Euro).
Website: Zimbrăria Neagră.
TIP: Take binoculars with you. Animals can be shy and sometimes reluctant to get too close to humans.