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PAWHUSKA, Okla. (KFOR) – As more Oklahomans get outdoors to enjoy the beautiful spring weather, visitors to a local preserve will see an adorable new face.

On Monday, officials say the first bison calf of 2021 was seen at the Joseph H. Williams Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska.

“This bundle of joy arrived a bit earlier than normal,” said Bob Hamilton, Tallgrass Prairie Preserve Director. “Typically, bison calves arrive around Easter weekend. Doing the math, that means this calf’s mom was bred in June–bison have a 9.5-month gestation period. We suspect that its early arrival is due to good forage conditions last summer which may have triggered early breeding. Additionally, minus the February cold spell, it was a pretty mild winter–so that may be a factor in its early arrival as well. Either way, we look forward to this exciting day each year!”

First bison calf of 2021 at Tallgrass Prairie Preserve – Photo by Tony Brown – The Nature Conservancy

In all, preserve staff expect to see 500 to 600 calves this spring.

If you decide to visit the preserve to see the wildlife, officials say that you should stay in your car.

If the bison are blocking the road, be patient.

The preserve is open daily from dawn to dusk with no charge for admittance and can be accessed via county roads.