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What Do You Give Golden Gate Park For Its 150th Birthday? Bison.


Three kids have their noses pressed up against a chain link fence in Golden Gate Park. They’re watching a small herd of large animals — a handful of one-year-old bison that were just released into a field.

Farallon, Nicasio, and Walden McNeil’s words tumble over each other in their excitement. “They’re big ones,” they say. And they’re right. There are 10 big ones to be exact, and that’s twice as many bison as were here last week.

As part of Golden Gate Park’s 150th birthday celebration, Senator Dianne Feinstein’s husband Richard Blum donated 50 thousand dollars to the San Francisco Zoo. That brought these five females into the bison paddock on the west side of the park. They’ll be kept in a separate pen from the older ones for a month, so they can get used to each other.

Sarah Montoya is the three kids’ mom. And on a day when older male presidential candidates were getting most of the headlines, she was psyched to show her children the big girls playing in their new environment.

“I mean, that’s just cool,” she says. “Women rock.”

The new bison will be integrated right around April 4th — the date of Golden Gate Park’s official sesquicentennial.

Ben was hired as Interim Executive Director of KALW in November, 2021.