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Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve
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Introducing Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve

Covering 50 sq km bordering the northern flood plain of the Oka River, a tributary of the Volga, the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve(27-707 145; http://online.stack.net~ptz in Russian; admission R50, guided tour R150-350; 9am-4pm) is a meeting point of northern fir groves and marshes with typical southern meadow steppe. The reserve's varied fauna includes a herd of European bison, brought back from near extinction since WWII.

You cannot wander freely around the reserve by yourself, so it's useful to make advance arrangements for a tour. Otherwise, you could tag onto a prescheduled group tour. There is also a small museum near the office, with stuffed specimens of the reserve's fauna (typical of European Russia), including beavers, elk, deer and boar.

The reserve's pride, and the focus of most visits, is its European bison nursery(pitomnik zubrov). Two pairs of bison, one of Europe's largest mammals (some weigh over a tonne), were brought from Poland in 1948. Now there are about 60 and more than 200 have been sent out to other parts of the country.

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