|Photo: Frank Grawe|
Wisent, or European bison is
a Eurasian species of bison. It is one of two extant species of bison,
alongside the American bison. In the past, especially during the Middle Ages,
it was commonly killed for its hide, and to produce drinking horns.
Three subspecies existed in
the recent past, but only one survives today. The Bialowieza or lowland European
bison was kept alive in captivity, and has since been reintroduced into several
countries in Europe. They are now forest-dwelling.
In 1996, the International Union for Conservation of Nature classified
the European bison as an endangered species. Its status has since been changed
to being a vulnerable species.