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Year's first bison calf born at Custer State Park

CUSTER (AP) — Calving season has kicked off at Custer State Park in western South Dakota.

The first bison calf of the year was born Monday.

The state's Game, Fish and Parks Department says most bison calves are born between late April and early May. The calves weigh 40 to 50 pounds at birth and are a rust-orange color before gradually turning dark brown.

The department is reminding park visitors to not "move, 'rescue' or otherwise interfere with the calves." The agency says bison cows are fiercely protective of their young and should be treated with caution.

The park, which encompasses 71,000 acres, maintains a heard of about 1,300 bison.