One-in-10-Million Wonder White Bison Born At Wyoming State Park

A tiny, fuzzy white bison has joined the community of a Wyoming state park in the state’s southwest region.

On May 16, Wyoming State Parks shared a photo of a newborn heifer and its mother at Bear River State Park in Evanston. The white bison foal was born weighing 30 pounds, which is small, but it is doing well, according to park officials who spoke to Cowboy State Daily. When the newspaper said with officials on May 17, the name and gender of the calf were unknown.

“We’re not sure if it’s a bull or a heifer calf,” said park superintendent Tyfani Sager. “They’re furry, and it’s hard to tell immediately.”

Bear River State Park confirmed on Facebook that the bison is not albino but instead has an unusual genetic composition that causes it to have white fur. In 2021, the park received two white bison heifers, and the new calf’s mother, Wyoming Hope, was bred on-site by a native bull. The new calf is the park’s first white bison calf.

One-in-10-Million Wonder White Bison Born At Wyoming State Park

“Most bison you see nowadays have some cattle genetics,” Sager told Cowboy State Daily. “By the late 1800s, they had nearly been hunted to extinction.” People became concerned about extinction, thus, cow inbreeding was employed. A white bison birth is still unusual.”

It’s so uncommon that the National Bison Association told CBS station KUTV that it happens once every ten million years. Some indigenous communities also observe it.

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A white buffalo calf is considered “the most sacred living thing on Earth” by various Native American tribes, including the Sioux, Cherokee, Navajo, Lakota, and Dakota, according to the National Park Service.

“Some American Indians believe the birth of a white calf is an omen because it occurs in the most unexpected places and often among the poorest people,” the agency explained. “Birth is sacred in American Indian communities because it brings hope and is a sign that good times are coming.”

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