In the 11th century the European bison, or wisent, was all but extinct except in the extensive forest regions of the Ardennes in Belgium and Luxembourg. The last wild wisent in the world was killed by poachers in 1927.
They were successfully re-introduced to the wild in 1951, but because of their limited gene pool they are considered highly vulnerable to diseases such as foot and mouth. A typical wisent is about 9.5ft long and six feet tall, and weighs up to 2200 pounds.
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