An extremely rare sight of a white bison left wildlife enthusiasts, but mostly Native Americans, overwhelmed. The magnificent animal has been spotted in the Ozark Mountains and he’s part of a 25 bisons herd – a conservation plan meant to repopulate the Dogwood Canyon Nature Park in Lampe, Missouri with these majestic creatures.
The calf which was brought to the park earlier this year, was born on a private branch in North America. The white bison was named Takoda which means “friend to everyone” in the Sioux language. A white bison as well as a white buffalo has a highly importance for Native Americans. It brings peace and good fortune, so naturally the return of a white bison on these lands is so appreciated.
“The significance of the white buffalo is that … all of our teachings and our culture and our ceremonies were given through the white buffalo calf woman,” Sioux Valley Chief Vince Tacan told CBC. “We have a lot of people in the community that they follow the beliefs. It’s really important to us.”
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But not just native people were impressed by this delightful presence. Everyone involved in the conservation program are more than happy for this unique opportunity of bringing this sacred animal at the Dogwood Canyon.
“[It’s birth] was once an exceptionally rare occurrence, with some estimates stating that only one in 10,000,000 bison were born white Jeremy,” Hinkle, director of wildlife at Dogwood Canyon said. “Though still rare, the phenomenon is more common due to crossbreeding with cattle as a result of attempts by ranchers to save the species from extinction.”
Even extremely rare, sights of white bison have occurred more frequently over the last years. Less than two years ago, a white bison calf was born at the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation in Manitoba, Canada, while a few years ago another one was born in Goshen, Connecticut.
“According to traditional Native American teachings spanning thousands of years, the white bison is a sacred animal,” Jeremy Hinkle said. “It promotes prayerful communication between Indigenous people and the Great Spirit, while also serving as a sign of peace and good fortune.”