RED LODGE — It looks like the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary in Red Lodge is going to become home to yet another bison in May.
But instead of being rescued, this one is going to be born. That’s right, Luna, the six-year-old bison recently rescued by the sanctuary, is pregnant.
The sanctuary, which is a non-breeding facility, says that Luna was pregnant when she arrived in December. They report that the mother-to-be is doing well, in good spirits and eating a lot.
The staff is also very excited, due to the fact that there hasn’t been a birth at the sanctuary in over 20 years. Executive Director Gary Robson spoke with MTN News earlier Wednesday about this unexpected surprise and to ask for the public’s help.
“Right now, we have what we need to be able to take care of these animals," he says. "But this is something new to us. None of us were here the last time that there was an animal born here. This is one of the reasons that the wildlife sanctuary is asking for help to bring in some new bison-handling equipment."
The equipment they are hoping to get will not only help with Luna while she is pregnant, but it will help in the care for her calf once it is born and help with the other bison at the sanctuary, Speedy.
"It is for both the safety of the people involved and the comfort, security, and well-being of the animals," says Robson. "To be able to do a wellness check on a pregnant bison... it's not like a horse where you can just tie the leadoff and go do your thing. You have to have proper containment. This will be a better way to be able to give our bison shots, draw blood, trim hooves and do general wellness checks."
Mountain Khakis currently sponsors Speedy, and there is some money available from that fund, but the sanctuary will still need upwards of $10,000 for a new squeeze chute and scale, along with additional fencing. You can donate to help the bison, by clicking here.
Also, starting on Friday. March 5, you can stop by the sanctuary in person. They will officially be re-opening to the public for weekend visits.
Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 charity organization. In addition to Luna and Speedy, the Sanctuary also provides forever homes for animals from a variety of other species, including black bear, wolf, mountain lion, red fox, bobcat, coyote, lynx, raccoon, porcupine, sandhill crane, crow, raven, and a variety of hawks, falcons, and owls.