Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



American Bison

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo started with bison on the National Mall—and now bison are returning to the Zoo!

In celebration of the Zoo’s 125th anniversary in 2014, two American bison will be taking up residence at the National Zoo. In 1887, William Temple Hornaday, then a taxidermist with the Smithsonian, brought two bison to live on the National Mall and began lobbying for a national zoo where bison and other vanishing species could survive and breed.

On March 2, 1889, the National Zoo was created, and eventually the bison were moved to a new home at the Rock Creek property that now houses the National Zoo.

Now, 125 years later, visitors can once again see the animals that inspired the creation of the National Zoo and helped spark the conservation movement in the United States.

All about bison at the National Zoo