Fenner Nature Center opened as the City of Lansing’s Arboretum Park on August 1, 1959.
Within a few years the park contained 4 bison, 3 pronghorn antelopes, 25 prairie dogs, 3 white-tailed deer and a pair of Texas longhorn steers.
Fenner’s most iconic animal was a male bison that came to Fenner in 1978 as a one-year old, along with two females. Sadly both cows and an offspring calf died, leaving “Elvis” alone after 1983.
On January 3, 1995 a farewell party was held for Elvis who was scheduled to retire to Fife Lake to join other bison. Neighborhood residents protested so much that the move was canned, and Elvis remained at Fenner until he died in March 2003.
Source : Ron Eggleston, “Fenner’s Elvis Was A Popular Beast”, Lansing State Journal, December 18, 2014, p. 6D.