Friday, October 30, 2009

Bison, baseball and the Bronx Zoo...

This should be interesting. I'll keep you posted...

As an aside, it was in the fall of 1907 that fifteen bison were sent from the Bronx Zoo (then the New York Zoological Society) to the federally-owned Wichita Game Preserve at Cache, Oklahoma, followed by an additional fourteen bison sent to the Wind Cave National Game Preserve in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1913. These donations, organized by the American Bison Society (itself born in the Bronx Zoo, but a separate organization) are generally credited with bringing the bison back from the brink of extinction.

From Gathering of Animals (William Bridges, 1974):
"Their arrival was a sensational event to the Indians, cowpunchers, and ranch owners of the region. Fifty years later Frank Rush's widow (Rush was the first superintendent of the Wichita Game Preserve) told the Wildlife Management Biologist then in charge of the range how the Indians flocked to see the buffalo return to their old home, with the squaws dressed in their brightest dresses, many carrying babies, and the old Indians gathering days in advance on their ponies or the open wagons called Indian hacks. Old men peered into the crates as they arrived and told excited young boys about their own hunting of the buffalo in their youth.
The Wichita herd prospered, and before the end of the year two calves were born, one of which was named Hornaday (after the Zoo's then director), the other Oklahoma."

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