Albino bison returns to home ranch after two decades at museum

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Farm Forum

JAMESTOWN, N.D. (AP) — An albino bison at the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown has returned home to the farm where she came from 20 years ago.

White Cloud returned to Shirek Buffalo near the town of Michigan on May 21, according to the museum. She was born there July 10, 1996, and the Shirek family arranged to have her live with the museum’s bison herd to make her more visible to the public. The birth of an albino bison is a rare event considered sacred by many American Indians.

White Cloud over the past two decades has had 11 calves, including another white bison named Dakota Miracle that remains a part of the herd. Another offspring of White Cloud, named Dakota Thunder, carries the albino gene and is the father of a third white buffalo, Dakota Legend.

A bison can live in captivity for 20 to 25 years, and Museum Board President Don Williams told KQDJ that Shirek Buffalo can better care for White Cloud.

“We are aware of her health,” he said. “Summers are hard on her. As an albino, she can’t regulate her body temperature as well in the heat. Shirek Buffalo can care for her during the summer in ways we can’t in Jamestown.”

More than 3 million museum visitors have seen White Cloud through the years.

“White Cloud has become a special part of the Jamestown community, and we will miss her as part of the museum’s live herd,” the museum said in a statement.