White Bison Boom
Interesting news note:
"Janesville, Wis. - When a white buffalo was born on their farm a few months ago, Dave and Val Heider managed to keep it a secret for about two weeks.
"Dave even tried to convince a neighbor the little white animal trotting with the shaggy herd in their pasture was a dog that had been adopted by a buffalo cow.
"But when word leaked out, Val Heider sighed and said: 'Here we go again.' For more than a decade, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visited the Heiders' 45-acre farm on the outskirts of Janesville to see and pay homage to Miracle, a rare white buffalo who died in 2004 at age 10. The visitors included Indians from North America, Inuit from northern Canada, Aborigines from Australia and even Tibetan monks. " ...
"After Miracle died, visitors still came, although fewer and fewer as the months passed." ...
"That all changed Aug. 25, when another white buffalo calf, named Miracle Second Chance, was born.
"'We both decided that we're not going to let things get as bad as with the first one,' Dave Heider said, adding that he's relieved that hordes of people aren't showing up this time.
"One reason, perhaps, is an outbreak of white pigmentation among the approximately 600,000 bison living in North America. In the past decade, at least two dozen white buffalo calves have been born in captivity. Like the two Miracles at the Heider farm, the calves are not albinos and their coat inevitably changes to a more normal buffalo color as the animal ages." ...
"'We try to maintain a good record of where our breeding stock comes from for the purpose of expanding the genetic pool,' said Gail Griffin, who heads the Minnesota Buffalo Association in Winona and is vice president of the Colorado-based National Bison Association.
"'There's nothing to point to exactly why the white calves are showing up,' Griffin said."