They’re bossy, playful and always in the mood for food—meet Lucy and Gally, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s new American Bison named by students from Howard University and Gallaudet University! Since their arrival in March, keeper Michelle Styles has helped them acclimate to their new surroundings. Get to know their personalities and quirks in this Q+A.
What are Lucy and Gally’s personalities like?
Lucy is more dominant than Gally and has a feisty personality. Between the two, she is definitely the boss. When the pair first arrived in March, she was quite unsure about interacting with keepers. Over the past eight months, however, she has become confident in her new environment and around us. She is also very food-motivated and is always on the lookout for her diet items and treats! When I am cleaning behind-the-scenes, I often see her peering down at me from the exhibit, waiting to see if I will bring her a treat.
Like Lucy, Gally is also a fan of food. She is much more submissive than Lucy, though, and lets her go first when it comes to shifting on- and off-exhibit or picking a pile of hay to eat. Although Gally was quite shy at first, she adjusted quickly and was the first to start building a relationship with our keeper team. She has also been brave in many respects. She was the first one to explore their new enclosure when they arrived, and she has been surprisingly willing to try new things, like enrichment puzzle feeders. It’s very endearing to watch her excitedly run around the exhibit and bounce on her front feet to get Lucy to play and run with her!