Keepers at the NC Zoo highlight the importance of bison

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ASHEBORO, N.C. -- Zookeepers at the North Carolina Zoo say every day visitors call bison the wrong name.


Bison live in North America and Europe, and Buffalo in Asia and Africa.

Male can weigh more than 2,000 pounds and stand more than six feet tall -- which makes bison North America's largest land mammal.

Six bison live on the zoo's prairie along with 16 elk.

Even with that large size, they can still move very quickly.

At one point in American history, people hunted bison so much they were on the brink of extinction. But thanks to conservation efforts, herds, especially out west, have made quite the comeback.

"In 2015, the bison was named the national mammal," said zookeeper Kelly Nields. "Here at the zoo, we celebrate that every November."

Now, Kelly hopes these important animals will continue to thrive.