The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute announced on Thursday that it has welcomed two juvenile female American bison, named Lucy and Gally.
Both bison were brought from the American Prairie Reserve in northeastern Montana. They are about a year old and weigh around 200 pounds each.
Visitors will be able to see Lucy and Gally in their outdoor habitat located on Olmsted Walk near the Bus Parking Lot entrance when the Zoo reopens.
Gally was named by Gallaudet University students, faculty, staff and alumni, and Lucy was named by Howard University students, faculty, staff and alumni, according to a statement released by the Zoo. Bison is a mascot used by both universities.
“American Bison have a rich history with the Zoo since our founder William Temple Hornaday envisioned a national zoo where vanishing species would thrive, starting with the bison,” said Steve Monfort, John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, said in the statement.
Thanks to @HowardU & @gallaudetu for naming our 2 new female American bison! Meet “Lucy,” named to honor Lucy Diggs Slowe, first dean of women at Howard & Black woman to hold a position at any U.S. university & "Gally," named after Gallaudet's mascot. https://t.co/OACQ9RVgpv pic.twitter.com/rlSZ4EM2bQ
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) July 16, 2020
“Connecting the bison with the communities of Howard University and Gallaudet University gives us the opportunity to inspire a younger generation to appreciate this iconic American species and reminds us all that we can save wildlife and their habitats.”
“Gallaudet University is once again honored to be joining forces with Howard University and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo to welcome two new American bison to the Washington, D.C. area,” said Roberta J. Cordano, president of Gallaudet University.
“Our mascot Gally has been an enduring and central figure enjoyed by many Gallaudet generations so it is only fitting that Gally will now be recognized as part of the Zoo’s living collection.”
Howard’s selection of “Lucy” was in honor of Lucy Diggs Slowe, who was the first dean of women at the university and the first African American woman to hold that position at an American university. She was also a national tennis champion and the first Black woman to win a major sports title.
American bison were the first animals included in the Zoo’s living collection that started in 1889, the statement added.