Wild buffalo, one of America's "first families," at home on a sunny slope, Yellowstone Park, U.S.A.
figureposted on 01.01.1904, 00:00 by No Author
You are only a short distance from Mammoth Hot Springs, the hotel and Fort Yellowstone, yet these wild creatures browse here on the pasture bushes quite unconcernedly. Though they are not "tame" in the ordinary sense of the word, they feel sufficient assurance of safety to let you come thus near and they seldom take the offensive. The American bison, or so-called "buffalo," is almost extinct now, though even forty years ago enormous herds roved al over this country among the northern Rockies. Hunters and trappers during the last century slew recklessly, not caring if the species did become extinct, so long as they themselves found plenty of stock and made big profits from the sale of the saggy brown pelts. Now the Government authorities are trying to increase the pathetically small herd here in the Park and so keep the species alive as representing one of the finest native animals in all America. One of the chief duties of the soldiers stationed at Fort Yellowstone is to guard the Park preserves against poachers-usually desperadoes of a cheap sort who are ready to shoot the finest beast on the reservation for a few dollars to be wasted in the dissipations of the nearest mining town. Special acts of Congress protect these buffalo here within the Park limits and State laws in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana also stand for their immunity from the hunters. This particular herd comprises twenty old ones and a number of calves. The superintendent purchases bulls and cows occasionally from other parts of the country in order to keep up the vigor of the stock. From Notes of Travel, No.13, copyright, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood.