A lot of the hoofed animals live in this place in almost unrestricted conditions. This wild steppe territory is some thousands hectares big and it’s situated on the border between the Rostov region and Kalmykia. American and Asiatic bisons, yaks, Bactrian camels and wild Don horses inhabit the territory. It’s not Africa but nevertheless…
The Don horses are quite calm and let people come close. This donkey likes to bother the horses.
American bisons. Lowland subspecies of the animal have perfectly acclimatized in the Don steppe.
Bisons are polygamous and usually one male is surrounded with harems of females. Such harems may form herds that can reach 15-20 thousand animals. In the time of Wild West they even were massively destructed due to such their peculiarity. They prevented from land cultivation and destroyed pastures – one animal eats about 25 kg of grass and if a herd consists of 10 thousand animals it produces a devastating effect.
Another reason for their destruction was wars with Indians. Bisons were the main food for them so their destruction made them starve.
This extermination probably didn’t have analogs in the history of humanity. Thus in the beginning of the 19th century the buffalos population amounted to 40 millions animals and in 100 years – less than 1 thousand animals only…
Despite the fact they are not predators you must be careful next to them anyway. Males may weigh up to 1 ton and though they do not look as fast animals it’s not so, they may compete with horses at short distances.
American prairies are not to much different from Don steppes so these animals feel like home here.
Due to the same reason Bactrian camels feel good being here too. Once they inhabited many wide territories but today they remained only in some hardly accessible regions of Mongolia and north-west China.
Camels must be the mammals of the greatest endurance. In the evolution process they developed many wonderful abilities that let them save internal resources of an organism and save water, of course.
People used to think that camels stored water in their humps but modern researches show it’s not so: humps serve as reservoirs for fat that splitting provides an organism with necessary nutrients.
A camel’s organism spends water very carefully: an animal’s nostrils are tightly closed and open only for breathing in or out – it does not let moisture evaporate. Besides camels start sweating only if body temperature reaches 41C. Camel kidneys can obtain water from urine for the second time, by the way.