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I seem to have made animals an impromptu theme this week on the blog. Today we have two cards from the Fauna of Belarus series. I would love to collect all the cards in this series, but for now I have two of them that I love: the hedgehog and bison.

Hedgehog belarus

Here is the hedgehog, Erinaceus concolor. There are no native hedgehogs in the Americas, but some people keep them as small pets, as one would keep a rabbit or hamster. I think they look pretty cuddly, to a point (ha, bad hedgehog pun).

Belarus buffalo

Now, being American, I would call this animal a buffalo, but it is actually a bison (a European one, to be precise), or a wisent. Very similar creatures roam the plains of the western United States, and we typically call them buffalo, even though they are also technically bison, too, since they are only distantly related to “true buffalo” in Africa and Asia. The European bison was hunted to extinction in the wild in the early 20th century, but they’ve been reintroduced from captivity. The American bison also had problems with overhunting in the 19th and 20th centuries, with their numbers dwindling from millions to just thousands, but now they’re slowly making a comeback. There are hundreds that roam around Yellowstone National Park, and sometimes they just walk along the road, so you have to be careful when you drive!

The stamps show some wildlife and also a commemoration of the 2010 winter Olympics:

BELARUS ducks

BELARUS winterolympics

Many thanks to Ekaterina and Pavel from Belarus for these cards!s

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