EXPIRED: 09/08/11 – Ryan, 13, and his older sibling Esther, 15, were Bison, an animal that had nearly been hunted to extinction in North America. But this brother /sister act lived safely at ZooAmerica, part of Hershey Park, in Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Irene had other plans. Ryan and Esther were among the casualties of flooding in central Pennsylvania – Esther, caught by rapidly rising waters from the nearby Swatara creek and run-off from flooded roads, drowned while struggling to keep her head above water. Bison brother Ryan had to be euthanized when there was no way to save him.
The deaths caused a firestorm from animal lovers who said that the zoo had two days to move the bison out of an exhibit that’s known to flood. But no-one expected the inches of water normally seen during a creek overflow to turn into waters over 6 feet high in a matter of minutes.
While in the wild bison rarely reach past the age of 15, these two should have had another 10 years due to being raised in captivity.
Rest in peace, teenage bison, rest in peace.