A one-year-old rare white buffalo has been found killed and skinned in a gruesome scene in Texas.
Lightning Medicine Cloud (a reference to the thunderstorm that marked the arrival of his birth as well as a tribute to a white buffalo born in 1933 named Big Medicine) lived on a Native American owned ranch near Greenville. White buffalo are extremely rare and considered sacred in some Native American cultures.
His owner, Arby Little Soldier, the great grandson of Sitting Bull, told KDFW:
“My people — my brothers, my sisters — are hurt for what has happened here at this ranch. You don’t think things like this are going to happen to such a sacred animal, a sacred family.”
He found the little buffalo after returning from a trip out of town and then found the buffalo’s mother, Buffalo Woman, dead the next day. Lightning Medicine Cloud’s father, Gentle Ben, had been killed by a lightening strike last year. Lightning Medicine Cloud will be buried with his mother and father along a tree line.
Little Soldier said the animal was more than just a symbol of hope, one whose legend will live strong at the Lakota ranch.
“He was the hope of all nations,” he said. “You have taken the inner spirituality. You tried to stop what we’re bringing back to ya’ll, but you just opened the doors to release the message to all people.”
He told Indian Country Today Media Network that “a $5,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the premeditated crime deaths.”
A previously scheduled May 11-12 Powwow will celebrate Lightning Medicine Cloud.
“It has been a heartache as we mourn the death of Lightning Medicine Cloud and his mother, however his legacy will forever live on through the message he brought as ‘The Hope of All Nations,’” Little Soldier said. “Lightning was brought in as a spiritual blessing from God and left by the hands of evil people. This premeditated crime will NOT go unsolved, and there will be closure for us all, and consequences for those who did it.”
“May you all rest in peace, dearest Gentle Ben, Lightning Medicine Cloud, and Buffalo Woman.”
“You will be missed very much, but NEVER forgotten. It has been our honor to have taken care of you and shared in your greatness.”
In March, the discovery that a ranch in Hunt, Texas offered the chance to kill a white buffalo for $13,500 sparked outrage. The owner of the ranch told Indian Country Today Media Network that he would cease offering the white buffalo hunt. The buffalo being killed at that ranch and others, like those being born on a ranch in Bend, Oregon, are not natural white buffalo, but genetically modified white bison.
Watch video of Lightning Medicine Cloud:
Photo credit: KDFW screengrab