Updated:
Original:

On its long path through America, the bison reaches national mammal status

Author:

President Obama's signature on the National Bison Legacy Act made the North American bison the official mammal of the United States Monday.

There was a time when millions of bison roamed the continent. But by the late 1800s the animal was near extinction with only a few hundred left, the Interior Department says in introducing 15 fun facts about bison.

Theodore Roosevelt, who would play a key role in reviving the species, first traveled to Dakota Territory to hunt the bison he'd heard so much about. He quickly discovered that it was tough to find any in 1883 because most of the herds had been slaughtered by commercial hunters, the National Park Service says.

Today there is a herd in the national park in North Dakota that's named after Roosevelt. The state is also home to the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown.

Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota was an original sponsor of the move to give the bison national recognition. He said Monday: ‘Bison are strong, proud and free, and a truly American icon with an incredible story. These noble creatures were brought back from the brink of extinction in our nation’s first great conservation effort."

https://twitter.com/bemidji/status/729852224034070529

The Grand Forks Herald notes that all three members of North Dakota's Congressional delegation played roles in getting the legislation passed.

Today there are an estimated 500,000 bison in the U.S., though the Associated Press says most of those have been cross bred with cattle, making then semi-domesticated. The news service reports there are about 30,000 truly wild bison in the country with the largest population in Yellowstone National Park.

As for Minnesota, the bison that were reintroduced to Blue Mounds State Park in 1961 and have lived there ever since are the rare kind that show no genetic evidence of breeding with cattle.

Last year some of them were moved to Minneopa State Park near Mankato to establish a herd there.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V8ms8zty0Q

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' defense fuels win over Pelicans

The Wolves' have bought in on the defensive end as part of a 2-0 start.

Minnesota Wild

Ryan Hartman's OT goal helps Wild stay undefeated

The Wild improved to 4-0 with a win over the Ducks.

Mar'Keise Irving / Gopher Football

Gophers pound Maryland to stay in Big Ten West race

Four different players scored a rushing touchdown in a 34-16 victory over Maryland.

Father Paul Kubista at St. Mary of Czestochowa

Controversy after Delano priest shares vaccine misinformation in church bulletin

Father Paul Kubista is pastor at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church.

robberies

Mel-O-Glaze, DreamHaven Books robbed at gunpoint minutes apart

The businesses were hit by three robbers just six minutes apart on Oct. 21.

Cambridge house explosion

Explosion destroys house in Cambridge, 5 injured

The explosion occurred early Saturday morning on the 33000 block of Hillary Circle.

MAHMOUD MOHAMED HAMADA

Charges: Lyft driver sexually assaulted woman in her home

The defendant is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Pixabay - black bear

Black bear bites professional baseball player in western Wisconsin

The former MSU-Mankato star was bitten in his back.

mickey moore driver's license shared

Beleaguered Ward 9 city council candidate loses Strib endorsement

Mickey Moore has faced questions in recent days about where he actually lives.

Related

Should this be the official state mammal?

First-graders are behind a push to make the black bear the state mammal, and a bill filed in the House on Wednesday would make it so. But, as MPR's Bob Collins points out, past ideas for state mammals haven't fared well at the Legislature.

DNR and Minnesota Zoo team up to manage bison herd

The Minnesota Zoo and the Department of Natural Resources will cooperatively manage a herd of bison at state parks and a zoo exhibit. The herd will be genetically pure, unlike most modern-day bison which have domestic cattle in their family tree.