Fermilab welcomed its newest “discovery” Saturday — and it had to do with a bison, not a boson.
The first new calf of the year to its herd of American bison arrived happily and healthily on Saturday, April 25. About 12 more calves are expected this spring.
All Kane County residents, especially families with small children, are welcome to come to the pasture where the young bison run around under the watchful eyes of “mom and dad bison.”
Visitors can enter the Fermilab site through the Pine Street entrance in Batavia or the Batavia Road entrance in Warrenville. Admission is free, but you will need a valid photo ID to enter the site. Summer hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.
To learn more about Fermilab’s bison, please visit Fermilab’s website on the bison herd.
Fun Fact: Why the Buffalo Roam at Fermilab
Physics is the mission of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, but buffalo may be Fermilab’s main attraction for visitors. What are buffalo doing at a physics laboratory?
The oft-told tale that they are Fermilab’s equivalent to the canary in the mineshaft, living Geiger counters to warn of radioactivity, is strictly fiction. The Fermilab site does not present a radiation hazard, and Fermilab buffalo do not glow in the dark.
Actually, Fermilab’s buffalo herd carries on a tradition begun by Robert Wilson, the laboratory’s first director, to recognize and strengthen Fermilab’s connection to our prairie heritage. Wilson brought the first American bison, a bull and four cows, to Fermilab in 1969; and in 1971 the Illinois Department of Conservation gave Fermilab 21 more. Today’s herd are descendants of those first animals.
SOURCE: Fermilab Today