The project began in 1988 when geophysicist and ecologist Sergey A. Zimov set up the North-East Scientific Station in Chersky, Russia, a small town in northern Siberia with a population of approximately 3,000 (Daveletyarova, 2013). Initial funding was provided by the Pacific Ocean Institute of Geography, one of the largest geographic institutes in the former USSR (Daveletyarova, 2013). Funding was cut off when the USSR collapsed in 1989, but Zimov kept the station open with various European grants. In 1996, the North-East Scientific Station was registered as a private, non-profit company and Zimov officially began his Pleistocene Park experiment. (Daveletyarova, 2013).
The first enclosure was constructed in 1996 and consisted of a 50 hectare paddock containing introduced horses and moose (Pleistocene Park, n.d.). Between 2004 and 2005, the park was expanded to enclose 1600 hectares (Pleistocene Park, n.d.). In 2010, six musk ox were transported from Wrangel Island, a federally protected nature sanctuary located just off Russia’s northeastern coast, and in the spring of 2011 the first bison and wapiti were introduced from the Prioksko Terrasny Reserve, located in the southern Moscow region of Russia (Pleistocene Park, n.d.).