*By the Numbers
The last wild, migratory buffalo populations are currently estimated at fewer than 4,500 individual animals, living in and around Yellowstone National Park. Wild, migratory bison are ecologically extinct throughout their native range in North America.
Total Buffalo Killed: 97
Buffalo Released from Capture:
Held for Government Experiment:
Died in Government Trap:
Died in Government Research Facility**: 1
Miscarriage in Government Trap:
State Hunt: 16
Treaty Hunts: 81
Sent to Quarantine:
Sent to Research Facility:
Shot by Agents:
Cause of Death Unknown:
Total Killed in Previous Years*
Total Killed Since 2000: 4,355
*includes lethal government action, trap-related fatalities, quarantine/experiments, hunts, and highway deaths
**bison stolen from the wild and placed in research facilities (such as for GonaCon) have already been counted as being "eliminated from the population" so bison that have died in a government research facility are not reflected in the total.
* Last Words of Buffalo Inspiration
"The buffalo gave us everything we needed. Without it we were nothing. Our tepees were made of his skin. His hide was our bed, our blanket, our winter coat. It was our drum, throbbing through the night, alive, holy... Not the smallest part of it was wasted... His mighty skull, with the pipe leaning against it, was our sacred altar. The name of the greatest of all Sioux was Tatanka Iyotake - Sitting Bull. When you killed off the buffalo you also killed the Indian - the real, natural, 'wild' Indian."
--John Fire Lame Deer, Lakota Sioux
Please send us your submissions for Last Words. Thank you for all the poems, songs, quotes and stories you've contributed! Keep them coming!
But now it is up to all of us Native American included to stop using the buffalo and let the herds heal and be restored, instead of trying to live like our ancestors and neglect the coming generations from ever seeing a wild bison.
I hope the Great Sioux Nation stops killling the tatanka for rich indians who can afford the skins even at thousands of dollars per skin.
Tas, I think I understand what you are saying. Everyone must be involved in saving the buffalo. If others can wear faux fur so can Native Americans, it "takes a village" works here.
You're right TAS and Carlene. It's hard to believe that some of the tribes have joined in the killing of the buffalo. That was very sad for me to know; I would have thought they'd protect them...especially knowing how few are left.