Just this past Monday a story had broken that had outraged and horrified a lot of people around the world. It told of a canned hunting ranch in Texas that was offering the opportunity to kill a white buffalo for $13,500. The white buffalo has long been a sacred animal to the Native American people. The story exploded all over Facebook and the feedback from it reached the owner of the ranch.
Late on Tuesday, Aaron Bulkley, the owner of the ranch, contacted the Indian Country Today Media Network and discussed the issue. He is aware that the white buffalo is sacred to the Native American people and although he claims to have had the picture and the white buffalo hunting offer on his website for 3 years, he has decided to take it down and no longer offer hunting on the white buffalo.
Aaron Buckley also stated the white buffalo are not as rare as is believed. He claims there are multiple breeding ranches of white buffalo all over the U.S. Although the rarity of the white buffalo was also brought up that was not the main contention of the protest against the killing of these white buffalo. It is however true that the number of white buffalo has definitely increased in recent years according to Dan Sharps, a biologist at the National Bison Range in Montana. The increase in the percentage of white buffalo can be attributed to better knowledge about genetics and breeding.
American Indians across the internet are flocking to the website of Texas Hunt Lodge today—and not because they’re planning a hunting trip. No, they’re alarmed by a page on the site dedicated to the White Buffalo Hunt Package, which advertises a chance to kill a white buffalo for $13,500.
White buffaloes are sacred animals to the Lakota Sioux and other Native groups, and there aren’t a lot of the creatures around. When one was born last year in Greenville, Texas, it was an occasion for much rejoicing. An article in the British newspaper Daily Mail extensively covered the naming ceremony of Lightning Medicine Cloud. That report said that “Lightning Medicine Cloud, whose name is also a tribute to a white buffalo born in 1933, named Big Medicine, is thought—in Lakota Sioux tradition—to be the third of its kind ever born.”
It may be that not all white buffaloes are created equal, for there is a herd in Bend, Oregon, that contains 11 white buffaloes. Even so, it’s safe to say there aren’t a lot of them; an article on the herd from 2010 said that experts estimate that there are less than 50 white buffaloes in existence.
The sacredness of the white buffalo is linked to the story of White Buffalo Calf Woman, a Lakota prophet who brought the Lakota the Seven Sacred Rituals.Understandably, this page at Texas Hunt Lodge has alarmed those who value white buffaloes
- Hunt for sacred white buffaloes riles Native groups (usnews.msnbc.msn.com)