Tuesday, April 05, 2011

American Bison at the Bronx Zoo...

Well, I like bison, and I like the Bronx Zoo, so this post was a no-brainer. I spent a lot of time at the zoo, observing these very critters, when I was writing my first novel, The Third Revolution.

From The Third Revolution:

"Running Wolf took enormous pride in the herd. His people, the Blackfeet, had roamed the North American plains for over 5,000 years, as best anyone could tell, and had been calling this particular part of the country home for over 300 years. They’d lived in harmony with the bison and its Great Plains grassland ecosystem for all but about the last 100 of those years. They had been left no say in the matter; the buffalo were effectively exterminated around the turn of the 20th century, predominately for their tongues, hides and horns, but also to “encourage” the native peoples to give up their traditional way of life and adapt an imposed version of a civilized lifestyle. The strategy was unquestionably successful in extinguishing the native people’s way of life—the world as they knew it was forever laid to waste. So successful was the Great Slaughter, that in the fall of 1907, the Bronx Zoo sent 15 of its New York City bison to the federally-owned Wichita Game Preserve at Cache, Oklahoma, followed in 1913 by an additional 14 animals sent to the Wind Cave National Game Preserve in the Black Hills of South Dakota, as part of an effort to re-establish a public breeding herd in the wild."
Read more here: The Third Revolution Excerpts. And read more on the Bronx Zoo's (the Wildlife Conservation Society) role in the restoration of our bison herds here: The American Bison Society, and here: The American Bison Society Timeline

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