Hart Park staff saddened by bison’s death 

Watashne the bison. Photo courtesy of Hart Park.
Watashne the bison. Photo courtesy of Hart Park.

The L.A. County Parks and Recreation Department announced the death of 20-year-old “Watashne,” a bison in the care of William S. Hart Regional Park.  

“Watashne” came to Hart Park in 2019 from the Wildlife Waystation. She fell ill for several weeks and was closely monitored before her death, according to the release from county parks officials. 

“We grieve the loss of ‘Watashne’ who was part of our beloved bison herd at Hart Park. We know many visitors were also fond of her and will miss her,” L.A. County Parks Director Norma E. García-González said in the statement. 

“She was very friendly. She was most likely to come up to the fence and interact with patrons,” Regional Park Superintendent Chris Mowry said in an interview Wednesday afternoon.  

The staff at Hart Park plans to memorialize Watashne by painting a stone to keep in her enclosure. 

Mowry said the staff will miss her gentle and tame spirit whenever she greeted the staff during meal time.  

Bison have been under the care of L.A. County Parks staff at Hart Park since 1962, when Walt Disney donated a herd to the county. Previously, that original herd of bison had been kept at Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch, in nearby Placerita Canyon. 

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