Female 8-year-old bison dies in Golden Gate Park

PHOTO: Adult bison shown in Golden Gate Park, note that the identifying eartag for Brunhilda is #34, and she may (or may not be) seen in this image. Credit photo by May Woon. 

It was a sad day at the Buffalo Paddock in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park on Friday. Brunhilda, the eight-year-old female American bison who lived there, suffered severe kidney disease, which contributed to her passing, according to preliminary necropsy results. 

The majestic beauty passed away Thursday evening, according to San Francisco Zoo & Gardens officials. The necropsy was performed on Friday. 

"Our animal wellness teams have been watching her closely and treating her for several weeks in conjunction with specialists from U.C Davis School of Veterinary Medicine," said Dr. Jason Watters, Vice President of Wellness and Animal Behavior at San Francisco Zoo & Gardens. 

Zoo officials said Brunhilda's quality of life had deteriorated significantly. 

Bison in Golden Gate Park date back to 1890. The Buffalo Paddock was relocated to its current location next to Spreckels Lake in 1899.

Brunhilda and the other members of her herd moved to Golden Gate Park in 2011 from a private breeder. San Francisco Zoological Society animal care and veterinary staff oversees overall bison care and wellness. 

Other bison in the park today are descendants of 1984 birthday presents given to then mayor, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, by her husband. 

In the wild, an American bison's life expectancy is 12 to 20 years. SF Zoo officials estimated the life expectancy to be from 15 to 25 years in the wild, or 15 to 30 years "under human care." The species are herbivores.