Rare white bison born sparks rush of visitors at state park: "Little white ball of fluff"

Evanston, Wyoming - A rare white bison born in Wyoming is the first in the park's 32-year history.

The photo shows the two-year-old bison mother and her recently born calf.
The photo shows the two-year-old bison mother and her recently born calf.  © Bear River State Park

In Bear River State Park in southwest Wyoming, a small natural miracle has occurred!

After four brown bison calves saw the light of day in the spring, park staff are rejoicing over a rare snow-white cub.

Park superintendent Tyfani Sager told the Guardian that they noticed a "little white ball of fluff" when they visited the animals' pasture in mid-May. The mother bison's name is Wyoming Hope.

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It's likely the baby bison was born between 6:30 and 7:30 AM on May 16, according to Sager. "It was up and suckling on mom within 15 minutes after it was born," she said.

The superintendent added that the rare calf is "healthy" and even gets the "zoomies," often running around in circles.

White bison are quite rare throughout the American West. The mammals, which owe their distinctive coat to a special combination of DNA, were once considered sacred by many Native American tribes, but they're not to be mistaken with albino bison, which are so rare that they only occur in one of every 10 million births.

Bear River State Park sees increase in visitors after bison's birth

Typical bison calves weigh around 60 pounds.
Typical bison calves weigh around 60 pounds.  © IMAGO / Cover-Images

It's too early for the staff to determine the sex of the animal at this time. If they were to get too close to the calf, it could cause stress and unrest in the herd.

The baby bison is one of the smallest in the park, weighing only 30 pounds instead of the normal 60. According to Sager, the animal's low weight is due to its mother's age.

Wyoming Hope was only two years old at the youngling's birth and not yet full-grown, as most wild cattle are at least three years old when their first calf is born.

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The park has seen a "huge uptick" in visitors since news of the animal's birth began to circulate, Sager said.

Bear River Park normally sees about 1,000 visitors a day, but that number has since increased by about 300. The park is free and open to the public.

Bear River staff have not yet chosen a name for the baby. Guests are currently offering suggestions, with Equality, Liberty, Sparky, and Pearl are high on the list.

Cover photo: Bear River State Park

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