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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 03:34 PM
Original message
Denver's Bison Becoming More Like The Bison The Indians Used to Rely On
This is an article with some good information, and worth the read. I have just picked a few parts I find quite interesting:

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_17661145

denver and the west
Denver bison herd evolving back to ancestry, gaining value
By Bruce Finley
The Denver Post
Posted: 03/21/2011 01:00:00 AM MDTUpdated: 03/21/2011 01:05:02 PM MDT



Denver's expanding municipal herd of bison, bred from ancestors domesticated after commingling with cattle, shows signs of reverting to its roots. The evidence from DNA tests, wild appearance and behavior delights conservationists. Some now seek a federal "endangered" designation to bolster the nation's purest bison.
(snip)
Bison calves increasingly are born with prominent humps on their backs, distinct from flat- backed cattle. About 30 are expected this spring.
(snip)
Today, calves showing cattle traits are auctioned. The 54 sold over the past two years brought in about $53,000. The revenue offsets costs of veterinary services and hay that sustain the herd during winter.
(snip)
(About a rejected effort to protect Bison as endangered) "We're likely to challenge that decision. Bison need further protection," said Noah Greenwald, endangered-species program director for the center. "Today's conservation herds aren't sufficient to preserve bison."

At the end of the article are some statistics about bison. The newspaper version has more pictures than are online.

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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. Magnificent beasties!
...
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yes, indeed. And it is an often unexpected thrill for visitors to be driving out of Denver, with
the beautiful mountains as the backdrop, and see these tremendous creatures.

That they are reverting to their ancestry is great news!
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 07:22 PM
Response to Reply #1
21. With big scary looking heads!
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. Cool. Nt
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ljm2002 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thanks for posting!
What a magnificent beast in that picture.

I had no idea they were interbred with cattle, you learn something new every day! Glad to hear they are reverting back to being pure bison, and showing behavior that reflects it.

K&R
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. It has another side to it... they used to be quite tame, but now when
they don't like visitors getting too close, they "lick their lips, curl their tails, and charge."

Oooops. ^_^ And waaaay too many people who visit this state think that any animal they see in a "park" is like some Disney character. sigh....

I wish you could see the other pictures, too. Those humps are indeed quite a picture themselves.

You're very welcome, and thanks for reading! :hi: I hope you get to see them someday!
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. I got to see some white buffalo on a ranch in AZ located on the drive to the Grand Canyon.
That was so delightful. :)
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Lucky you! I got to see some white buffalo dancers on Jan 6. Does that count?
:hi:
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closeupready Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. It does if you had fun.
:rofl: :hi:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. Well, I wouldn't call it "fun"... it was very spiritual, and an experience most visitors don't get
to see.

Something I will definitely remember.
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underseasurveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #14
30. Knew a woman years ago
back in the 80's in Colorado and her title was White Buffalo Woman :-)
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underseasurveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. The cross beeeds were called Beefalo
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
5. Calves born with humps!
That is really exciting. Thanks, bobbolink. :kick: & Rec.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 03:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Isn't that great! That was the one thing that really got my attention, and caused me to
keep looking for the article. (The Denver Post is notoriously difficult to find online stories!)

Many years ago, I got to go to Yellowstone in the winter, and seeing these magnificent animals then, you really get the sense of why they have such a thick coat.

We were cross-country skiing down a hill, and turned with the trail, and came out of the trees............and there was a group of bison right ahead of us, right on the trail.

We decided the trail was theirs, and went another way. :hi: Up close, they are BIIIG.
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. You made the right choice when you chose not to
challenge the bison for the trail. They are gi-normous animals, smart, undomesticated, and potentially dangerous. All the more reason to protect the beasties, IMO. I'd love to hear the whole story of your skiing x-country through Yellowstone. What an adventure! :woohoo: Exciting!
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kiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. Thanks for this, Bobbo -
When I was a kid I remember looking for them every time we went to Denver.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. You saw this herd at Genessee? Where the overpass is?
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kiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #9
31. I remember seeing buffalo
on our trips to Denver - sorry, I was young and can't remember exactly where. I do know that there were a few buffalo on the Western Slope, though we rarely saw them.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 11:07 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. Those early memories really stick. I'm so glad your family traveled, and that you got to
see things so many kids don't.

The bison are still here, if you want to come back and see them. Soon they will be calving, and that is always fun to see the little ones.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:02 PM
Response to Original message
10. Makes one appreciate the incredible bravery of the Plains Indians who used to hunt these beasties
Edited on Mon Mar-21-11 04:03 PM by leveymg
with spears, bows and arrows.

I for one would not like to come mano-a-mano with a bison, like that old boy.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Great thought. Actually, they used game walls, etc.
They would drive them off a cliff, or run them past a game wall (where the hungers were hiding), and shoot with some protection.

Still................. ^_^
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LibertyLover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
18. Thank you very much for this article
About 4 years ago we had a family wedding in Denver and wanted very badly to see this herd. Unfortunately we weren't able to, although I've seen bison in Yellowstone. I'm glad to see that this herd is reverting to type. Excellent news.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Its time to come back and see the bison! Well, when the fire dies down.
They really are a sight to see, especially soon, when they are calving!

Except for the fires, its really nice here now, so C'mon over! :hi:
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 06:42 PM
Response to Original message
19. Interesting
One of our neighbors down the road raises Bison. He's got a herd of about 30.

I didn't realize that Bison were interbreeding with cattle.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-23-11 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #19
34. How long has he had that herd? It would be interesting to know if they are reverting....
Any hope of finding out?
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
22. They are magnificent


I've seen the ones in Yellowstone with the family.

it is a great memory, the big herd - including many young calves - swarming across the road, around our vehicle.

I especially enjoyed the ones standing on the crust around the geysers - it was sleeting that day in June - getting warm, blowing great billowing breaths into the steam. i wondered what would happen if they fell through.

Thanks for posting this bobbie. As we speak I am enjoying listening to the frogs and peepers up here going crazy lookin' for love. It's such a wild but comforting sound.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. If they fell through, it would be bison stew.
Actually, that happens. That winter in Yellowstone, we went to one of the Ranger programs where she talked about that.

She said too many visitors think that if you only go where there are animal prints, you will be safe. Then she talked about how many carcasses they had pulled out so far that winter. :(

What was funny was that she said, "You parents may find this interesting. Usually we find that it is the adolescents of any species that gets itself in trouble." :rofl:

Aw, I would love to be hearing the froggies and peepers! Thanks for remeinding me.. there is a place where it is guaranteed to hear them. Unfortunately, it is near fire #3.

Yellowstone is so incredible... especially in the winter, with the hoar frost... the steam from the geysers freezes on the trees. Just gorgeous. And skiing oout to back country geysers... the warm water from the geysers keeps the stream water flowing, and the big boulders in the stream with heavy snow on them look like giant marshmallows. ^_^
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Just stand back and wait for stew then!


How many fires are going out there?

Not good.

It's dry here and I burned a few leaves, but we've been denied burn permits for larger burns til the fires here stop popping up.

The gal who rented a place from my cousin a mile from here in the same woods saw the rental trailer (brand new when she moved in two years ago) go up in flames several weeks ago. Another homeless person now, though she has found a place to stay for the time being with her kids.

Everything is like tinder out there.


Hoping for fire-suppressing juju, fwiw



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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
24. Great story (and excellent news)! The rolling-in-blood thing is certainly a trip
I remember how surprised I was the first time I came across the ones in Golden Gate Park; they're really a pleasure to watch...
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 08:58 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. Yes! I wanted to include that, but they have one-sentence paragraphs. :(
"they're really a pleasure to watch..."

Especially in calving season!

You are in the area?

I helped with the plant survey in Golden Gate. Lots of green growies to identify. ^_^

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roamer65 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
27. I wish the US Mint would put them back on the nickel.
The 1913-1938 design was one of the best in the history of our nation. The 2005 Bison nickel should have become permanent.
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Actually, the article it mentions that nickel.. that when we see bison, we want to see the hump just
like on the nickel. ^_^
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-21-11 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
28. interesting article -- magnificent creatures
thanks for posting. :)
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fizzgig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-22-11 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
32. i didn't know about the herds
lived here my whole life and never knew they existed. way cool :)
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