Location: Taken inside the bison enclosure at FortWhyte Alive, our Nature Center on the southwest edge of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada…Note: This is the second on my series of the American Bison…It was snowing at the time I took this image, and some snowflakes were on my lens
Canon XTI, 70-300mm Zoom lens, captured at 140mm, ISO 200, F5.6, Shutter speed 1/250 sec
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FOCUS and LIGHTING group on 8 January 2010
Upon the arrival of the European settlers, the “Monarch of the Plains” came under increasing pressure, undergoing one of the most dramatic, and systematic eradications of a wildlife population in recorded history. Horses and rifles were effective instruments in the unsustainable harvest by their most dangerous predator, “Homo Sapien”, Hidesman who hunted Bison purely for their heavy thick hides to make robes, or straping for industrial machinery, leaving the entire carcass to rot on the prairie. Many people hunted bison for sport. Thousands of animals were killed by tourists seeking adventure in the “Wild West”
Furthermore Pioneer Settlements broke up the grasslands and cattle gradually took the bison’s place on the prairie. By 1889 only some 1,000 bison remained in all of North America. Eventually a few far-sighted individuals saw the dramatic drop in population, and started to look at the bison in a different light. They acquired a milk cow as a foster mother and captured three orphaned calves, and journeyed back to their settlement to care for them, and ultimately their salvation.
Today the North American bison population is growing steadily, currently numbering 300,000 animals. Although they no longer roam freely, bison stewartship is taking place in many ways. National and Provincial parks, as well as hundreds of private ranchers are home to today’s majestic “Buffalo”
All information as written on the associated plaque at the compound