Earlier this month, four calves and their mothers joined the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd, bringing the total to 44 bison now roaming at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. 

What's also special about one of the new calves, is that she's actually the first bison in the world to be conceived using IVF (in vitro fertilization), made possible by using reproductive material from a deceased bison from Yellowstone. When the process first started with the embryo, veterinarians and researchers didn't have a whole lot of hope, but the IVF calf defied the odds and survived. According to CSU, using this type of technology and doing more research is really valuable, because it could help to protect animals that are facing extinction. They plan on using IVF again for the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd and hope to ultimately have 100 bison on the ground one day.

The herd was first released to this area in November of 2015, with some of the original bison coming directly from Yellowstone National Park. The project is collaborative effort between Larimer County, the City of Fort Collins, Colorado State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As of March 1, Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and Red Mountain Open Space are open for the season, so go check out the new faces soon.

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