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A rare buffalo calf born in Yellowstone could be a harbinger of indigenous prophecy

A rare buffalo calf born in Yellowstone could be a harbinger of indigenous prophecy

The white bison has many ancestral meanings in America. | Photo: Getty Images

The birth of a rare white bison in Yellowstone National Park in the United States fulfills an ancient Lakota prophecy that foretells better times, and also indicates that more must be done to protect the planet, according to members of the Native American tribe. Its animals.

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“The birth of this calf is a blessing and a warning. We need to do more,” said Chief Arvol Looking Horse, spiritual leader of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Oyate of South Dakota and the 19th Keeper of the Bison White Calf Female Pipe and Pack.

The birth of the sacred calf in 2023 drove thousands of Yellowstone bison to higher ground after a harsh winter. More than 1,500 were hunted, sacrificed or sent to tribes to regain custody of the animal their ancestors had shared their landscape with for thousands of years.

Kalispell resident Erin Bratton took several photos of the calf shortly after it was born on June 4 in Lamar Valley on the northeast edge of the park. While his family was walking to the park, Lamar saw “something very white” among a herd of bison on the other side of the river.

A rare white buffalo calf born in Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Valley is pictured in Wyoming on June 4, 2024. The birth fulfills a Lakota prophecy, according to American Indian tribes who have warned that more must be done to protect the land and its animals. | Photo: A.P

Looking Horse said that for the Lakota, the birth of a white bison with a black nose, eyes and hooves is comparable to the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Lakota legend says that about 2,000 years ago, when there was nothing good to do, food ran out, and the bison disappeared, a white bison calf appeared and gave the tribe a pipe and a bundle. They said that the pipe was used to attract bison to pray and get food. When he left he turned into a white bison.

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“And one day, when times are hard again…” said Looking Horse as he recounted the legend, “she will return and sit on the earth as a white bison calf with a black nose, black eyes and black hooves.” Another white bison was born in Wisconsin in 1994 and was named Miracle.

Troy Heinert, executive director of the South Dakota Intertribal Bison Council, said the calf in Bratton’s photos looks like a real white bison because it has a black nose, eyes and hooves.

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