Quantcast

Herd mentality: Golden Gate Park bison get a new livestream

Technicians enable a wireless connection to the bison paddock in Golden Gate Park. | Photo: Monkeybrains/Twitter
By Britta Shoot - Published on July 16, 2020.

Missing trips to the bison paddock at Golden Gate Park? If you're sheltering at home, you can now observe the massive, herbivorous ungulates on any device.

Thanks to a partnership with local internet service provider Monkeybrains, the paddock is now equipped with two cameras and a wireless connection to broadcast a livestream. Anyone — including those outside of San Francisco — can observe the park's all-female herd of 10 from a special park website.

"The bison paddock is one of the favorite destinations in the park," said SF Rec & Park general manager Phil Ginsburg in a statement. "Now we can open this amazing experience up to animal lovers, regardless of location." 

The bison cam is live. | Screenshot: Courtesy of SF Rec & Park

A representative from Monkeybrains said that the company began installing internet transmitters at the paddock in late May. It wasn't easy: maintaining the livestream requires a signal close and robust enough to pass under the park's lush tree canopy.

The small cameras transmitting a color video feed from the paddock are relatively unobtrusive. One is attached to the top of an existing birdhouse on the edge of the bison enclosure.

Five yearling bison joined the herd in March 2020. | Photo: James Watkins

If you haven't been by the paddock in a while, you'll also see some shaggy new faces. As part of Golden Gate Park's sesquicentennial celebration, five yearlings were added to the herd in March.

Rec & Park decided to add the bison cam as part of its work to bring some of April's canceled 150th-birthday celebration to the digital realm. 

The bison have been a park feature since 1892, when their enclosure was located on the eastern side of the park. They've lived in the current paddock since 1899. Here's a bit more on their history.

About 3 hours ago
San Francisco Castro

Castro Theatre's massive new hybrid organ may get installed in time for cinemas to reopen

The new hybrid digital/pipe organ that has been in the works for the grand Castro Theatre for about six years is finally about to become a reality, and depending on how long it takes to ship from Pennsylvania and how long it takes for movie theaters to safely reopen in San Francisco, it may arrive just time for the Castro's next public screenings. Read More

About 4 hours ago
San Francisco Ingleside Mission Terrace Sunnyside

City College site ramps up mass vaccinations with hundreds per day, hoping to reach 3,000 per day

While San Francisco and other cities around the country are facing shortages of vaccine supply compared with demand, the process of getting vaccines into arms quickly and efficiently continues to be honed in the city with the opening of the first of three mass-vaccination sites, at the main campus of City College. Read More

Jan 22, 2021
San Francisco Twin Peaks

SFMTA proposes reopening most of Twin Peaks to vehicle access

SFMTA staff are recommending reopening more than half of Twin Peaks to cars, despite broad public embracement of the park for non-vehicle recreation. Read More

Jan 19, 2021
San Francisco Chinatown

$1.9 Million Chinatown relief measure passes Board of Supervisors

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a relief measure that would pay ailing Chinatown restaurants nearly $2 million to serve up meals for their neighbors in need. Read More