First Buffalo Calf of the Season Spotted at Custer State Park, South Dakota

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The first buffalo calf of the spring, a heifer, in Custer State Park was spotted on April 7, 2012. It was found by park staff in the south end of the park near the south fork of Lame Johnny Creek.

The park has about 900 head of bison going into the spring and is expecting around 400 calves. The herd size should be around 1,300 at the Annual Buffalo Roundup in September.

"Spring is a perfect time to view wildlife in the park, and with the winter moisture everything is greening up," said Chad Kremer, buffalo herd manager. "Deer, antelope, turkey and buffalo can be seen throughout the park right now."

Visitors are advised to leave buffalo calves alone. It can be dangerous to approach baby animals, particularly buffalo calves. If a mother buffalo feels she or her calf is threatened, she may charge.

"Occasionally, people will think a buffalo calf has been orphaned and try to rescue it," said Kremer. "This is rarely true; buffalo may roam up to one mile from their calves and come back later for them."

Most buffalo calves are born in May, but around 10 percent to 20 percent arrive in April at Custer State Park.

For additional information on Custer State Park, please contact the park at 605-255-4515 or visit www.custerstatepark.com.