Five dead bison found in Poland in recent months

Michał Zieliński/PAP

A bison was shot dead in a forest in north-western Poland, the fifth such incident in the West Pomeranian province in the last five months, a wildlife group has reported.

A protected species, the European bison, the continent’s largest land animal, was once hunted to the brink of extinction but now their populations have been restored.

Conservationists received information about a dead bison on Sunday evening in the Dobrzany Forest district. An initial examination found gunshot wounds in the animal's neck.

"Such a shot causes a huge amount of blood to flow into the trachea and the animal's lungs fill up. It suffocated from its own blood," Maciej Tracz from the West Pomeranian Wildlife Society told PAP on Tuesday.

According to the conservationists, it was a healthy male about six-years-old and was in very good health.

Earlier, two female bison were found shot at the Drawsko military training area and one bison was shot on the grounds of the Rozansko Forest District. The animal was in very bad shape and had to be put down.

"Exactly in the same hunting district, a bison was killed in a very similar way last October. These places are only 500 metres apart," Tracz said, referring to the latest incident.

According to data from the West Pomeranian Wildlife Society, the population of bison in herds managed by conservationists in north-western Poland comes to 349 individuals.