The image you see here is a painting I recently completed of a North American Bison. He is a part of a new herd of Bison, recently released in the nearby Soapstone Prairie conservation area in here in northern Colorado. The purpose of this plan is the reintroduction of the Bison into an area where they lived many years ago. These animals originated from the Yellowstone area, and are genetically pure, not hybridized with cattle, as most Bison have been in the past.
Bison are sometimes incorrectly referred to as “Buffalo”, however buffalo are found only in Asia and Africa; whereas Bison are native to only North America.
Bison once freely roamed the plains, numbering over 20 million, but were decimated when humans arrived on the scene. The Bison were reduced to just over 1000 animals, by the late 1800s, when Bison were killed by the thousands, just for the fun of it. Men would ride trains through the prairie, indiscriminately shooting the bison from the windows of the train.
However, Bison have made a comeback, and now number over 500,000 most of which have been cross-bread with cattle and semi-domesticated by being raised as livestock for many generations.
Finally we have realized that, in order for the bison to continue to survive, they will need our help. By bringing this rare species to the Soapstone Prairie, we now have a wonderful opportunity to reintroduce this historical animal to its original habitat. This painting is dedicated to our new herd of Bison, and restoring the balance of Nature.
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