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First bison farm in Eastern Europe opened in Southeast Bulgaria

Date: 16.12.2008

The first bison farm in Eastern Europe was started Friday in southeast Bulgaria with the arrival of the first 12 male buffaloes.

The farm is located in the village of Orlov Dol ("Eagle's Valley") close to the town of Topolovgrad, Haskovo District, and is set up by "Eurobison" - a joint Swiss-Bulgaria venture, which is going to use the North American animals as a tourist attraction while raising them for meat.

Eurobison has already invested EUR 1 M in the project, and is applying for EU funding to further develop the innovative enterprise.

The 12 Canadian buffaloes, which were brought by trucks to Bulgaria from Germany, were set free on a plot of 500 decares.

By February 2009, the farm is supposed to have a total of 184 buffaloes, including 70 inseminated females. Eurobison has hired a plot of 1 500 decares but it would most likely need several thousand decares more as the raising of one bison requires 10 decares of steppe.

Apart from trading with buffalo meat, the Swiss-Bulgarian firm is going to use the animals to develop hunting tourism. The hunting down of one buffalo will cost EUR 4 000. The hunter will be allowed to keep the trophy but the meat would be kept by the firm, processed and exported.

The tourist profile of the bison farm in Orlov Dol is also going to include elements of the infrastructure of a Wild West town - a bar, a church, a square as well as rodeo shows.

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