According to a Fox News report, the extremely rare and sacred white buffalo born last year has been found dead and skinned along with its mother.
Lightning Medicine Cloud, born May 12, 2011 on a stormy night at the Lakota Ranch in Greenville Texas, was a natural white buffalo—an extremely rare occurrence, happening an estimated once per ten million births. In June, a naming ceremony attracted over 2,000 visitors to the ranch, and a report on the proceedings cited beliefs held by some Lakota that the calf was the third white buffalo ever, and the first male in 150 years. Such a white buffalo is tied to the story of White Buffalo Calf Woman, and is the most sacred animal, perhaps the most sacred thing on the planet, to the Lakota people.
In March, the discovery that a ranch in Hunt, Texas offered the chance to kill a white buffalo for $13,500 sparked outrage in Indian country. A day after the news broke, the owner of the ranch told Indian Country Today Media Network that he would cease offering the white buffalo hunt. The buffalo being killed at that ranch and others, like those being born on a ranch in Bend, Oregon, are not natural white buffalo—as an expert told ICTMN in March, knowledge of genetics has allowed modern breeders to engineer white bison.
The annual Greenville Scholarship Native American Powwow, which was traditionally held in late January, had been moved to the weekend of May 11-12 and called (perhaps unofficially) the First Annual Lightning Medicine Cloud Powwow in the buffalo calf’s honor. The event’s flyer is below:
PowWow2012Flyer Lightning Medicine Cloud, Sacred White Buffalo, Killed and Skinned