Originally featured in Points West magazine in Spring 2012
There is no more fitting icon to represent the Spirit of the American West or the Buffalo Bill Center of the West than the American bison, more commonly known as the American buffalo. Nearing extinction even in its western homeland by the early twentieth century, the American bison found a last place to hide in Yellowstone National Park. The current Yellowstone herd includes about three thousand animals, representing the only bison herd in the lower forty-eight states to have persisted since prehistoric times.
This impressive bull bison specimen was first introduced to Center audiences in the mid-1990s with the award-winning Seasons of the Buffalo exhibition. Since then, it has been part of the dramatic and popular diorama greeting visitors near the Center’s front entry and more recently in the lower level of our Draper Natural History Museum. This specimen, along with others in the grouping, now creates a focal point near the entry of the Buffalo Bill Museum, redesigned and reinstalled in 2012. The diorama helps to present a proper context for the adventurous life and times of William F. Cody.
American bison. DRA.305.89