This morning Yellowstone National Park sent out a statement to the press about the reported white bison that was spotted earlier this month. They are confirming that, based on multiple creditable sightings, the white bison was born in Lamar Valley on June 4.

To date, park staff have been unable find the calf again. The last known sighting was the day the bison was born.

Because the bison has black eyes, hooves, and nose, the park believes it is leucistic. One theory suggests it might be part cow. Albinism was ruled out due to the pigmentation -- if the calf were albino it would've had pink or orange eyes and light nose.

This is the first white calf Yellowstone National Park has reported in history

Each spring, about 1 in 5 bison calves die shortly after birth due to natural hazards.

"The birth of a white bison calf was a rare natural phenomenon that once occurred before the near extinction of bison in the late 19th century, when bison numbered in the tens of millions" wrote the park.

"The birth of a white bison calf may reflect the presence of a natural genetic legacy that was preserved in Yellowstone’s bison, which has revealed itself because of the successful recovery of a wild bison population of 3,000-6,000 animals."

The birth of a white bison calf in the wild is believed to occur in 1 in 1 million births or even less frequently.

For Native American tribes, this bison holds a significant message. To take better care of the Earth.

"In a gathering near a picturesque lake outside Yellowstone National Park, hundreds of people cheered Wednesday as a Native American leader spoke the name revealed on a painted hide for a rare white buffalo that was born in the park earlier this month: Wakan Gli, which means “Return Sacred” in Lakota" ~ AP

The current bison population fluctuates from 3,000 to 6,000 animals in two subpopulations. The NPS estimates the 2024 pre-calving bison population around 4,550.

About 500 people, including the Northern Arapaho Tribes attended the ceremony.

“It’s up to each and every one of you to make it happen for the future of our children. We must come together and bring that good energy back,” said Lakota spiritual leader Chief Arvol Looking Horse.

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