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PHOTOS: rare white bison calf in Yellowstone National Park

Kalispell photographer Erin Braaten snapped photos of a white bison calf in Yellowstone National Park
Posted at 1:59 PM, Jun 07, 2024

BILLINGS — A rare sight captured on camera in Yellowstone National Park this week has the wildlife community buzzing.

The photos are of a rare white bison calf in the Lamar Valley.

Kalispell photographer Erin Braaten snapped the photos while visiting the park with her family on Tuesday, June 4, 2024.

The photos were taken just moments after the calf was born.

Braaten visits Yellowstone two or three times a year but has never stumbled upon anything like this.

Rare white bison calf in Yellowstone National Park

"I couldn’t believe what I was seeing," she said. "It was so surreal. I just knew it was something special and one of the coolest things I’ve ever photographed."

Braaten says she initially thought the calf was a coyote.

White bison calves have profound meaning in Native American culture.

An essay on the National Park Service website states:

To American Indians, a White Buffalo Calf is the most sacred living thing on earth. The calf is a sign to begin life's sacred loop. Some American Indians say the birth of a white calf is an omen because the birth takes place in the most unexpected places and often happens among the poorest of people. The birth is sacred within the American Indian communities, because it brings a sense of hope and is a sign that good times are about to happen.


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