Bringing Back the American Bison

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Date Submitted: 06/02/2012 03:39 PM

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Bringing back the American Bison

The American Bison, also known as the Buffalo, had the largest herd in North American during the 17th century, numbering between 30 million and 200 million. Native Americans killed buffalo often for meat, hide for clothing, and horns for rituals, but the herds were so large it didn’t have an impact on the buffalo’s numbers.

However, during the 1500’s the Spanish explorers introduced horses to the Native Americans who learned to use the speedy animals to chase buffalo, dramatically altering their hunting range and effectiveness ("American buffalo: Spirit," 1998) . Next was the gun which made its way into the hands of greedy buffalo hunters, making them more deadly hunters. In the 1800’s, the arrival of the white settlers and their conflict with Native Americans, let to the rapid decline of the buffalo. With the arrival of the white settlers, came trappers and traders who made money of buffalo meat and hide. They began shipping hundreds of thousands of buffalo hides east each year, accounting for more than 1.5 million in the winter of 1872-1873 ("American buffalo: Spirit," 1998). Tourists were also allowed to shoot buffalo from the windows of their coaches, and often held buffalo killing contests. During one contest, a man set a record by killing 120 buffalo in just 40 minutes ("American buffalo: Spirit," 1998). “Buffalo” Bill Cody was hired to kill 4,000 buffalo in just two short years. Government officials urged the killing of buffalo herds in order to take out a main food supply for the Native Americans. By 1880, once the slaughter was near complete, only a few thousand buffalo remained where millions once roamed freely ("American buffalo: Spirit," 1998). Entrepreneur surgery

More can be done to help the American Bison, but people need more education on what the buffalo endured in the past years. With the action and dedication of private organizations and some government protection, the buffalo has survived and risen to around...