White Bison Calf Born In Yellowstone, Sparking Hope And Awe

June 13, 2024

Today's good news story comes from Yellowstone National Park.

In a rare and awe-inspiring event, a white bison calf was born in Yellowstone National Park's Lamar Valley. This extraordinary occurrence was witnessed by park visitor and wildlife photographer Erin Braaten, who happened to be at the right place at the right time.

Braaten, a resident of Kalispell, Montana, visits Yellowstone a few times each year, but she never imagined she would witness such a rare and symbolic moment. Stopping to admire the calf and its mother, Braaten managed to capture some stunning photos from a safe and respectful distance.

Braaten, who has Native American heritage, explained the profound meaning behind the birth of a white bison calf.

"It's a great blessing. It's a good omen," she told Cowboy State Daily. "It means there could be a good change coming."

The significance of a white bison calf is deeply rooted in Native American culture, particularly among the Lakota people.

According to Lakota legend, the birth of a white bison calf fulfills a prophecy that promises better times ahead. The legend tells of a time around 2,000 years ago when food was scarce and bison were disappearing. White Buffalo Calf Woman appeared, presenting a sacred pipe and a bundle to a tribal member, teaching them how to pray and bring buffalo back for sustenance. As she departed, she transformed into a white buffalo calf.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the spiritual leader of the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Oyate in South Dakota, and the 19th keeper of the sacred White Buffalo Calf Woman Pipe and Bundle, has echoed the significance of this legend.

"And some day when the times are hard again, I shall return and stand upon the earth as a white buffalo calf, black nose, black eyes, black hooves," he stated.

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