The Rare Occurrence That is Shaking Southwestern Wyoming

Bear River State Park in Evanston, Wyoming, recently had the pleasure of welcoming an extraordinary addition to its community—a tiny, fuzzy white bison calf. This rare and remarkable event has garnered attention and admiration, not only for its uniqueness but also for the deep symbolism associated with the birth of a white buffalo in Native American culture.

On May 16, Wyoming State Parks shared a heartwarming photo of the white bison calf and its mother, residing in Bear River State Park. Weighing only 30 pounds at birth, the calf faced a small but promising beginning. Officials from the park revealed that it was challenging to determine the calf’s sex right away due to its furry appearance. However, the park superintendent, Tyfani Sager, expressed that the calf was in good health and thriving.

Bear River State Park clarified on social media that the white bison calf is not albino. Instead, it possesses a rare genetic makeup that gives it the distinctive white fur. The park had already acquired two white bison heifers in 2021, and the new calf’s mother, Wyoming Hope, was bred by a resident bull at the site. This birth marks the first white bison calf to be born in the park, adding to its significance and rarity.

The birth of a white buffalo calf holds profound meaning for various Native American tribes, including the Sioux, Cherokee, Navajo, Lakota, and Dakota. To these communities, a white buffalo calf is considered the most sacred living thing on Earth. It is believed to be an omen, representing hope, new beginnings, and the promise of better times to come.

According to the National Parks Service, the birth of a white buffalo calf is often unexpected and takes place among those who may be considered the poorest. This further amplifies the symbolic significance, offering a message of hope and resilience to the Native American communities.

The white bison’s rarity also serves as a reminder of the troubled history of the American bison. By the late 1800s, bison populations had been decimated due to hunting and other factors. Concerns over extinction prompted efforts to introduce cattle genetics into bison populations, making white bison births even rarer today.

CBS News


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