On May 12, 2011, Arby and Pat Little Soldier of Lakota Ranch near Greenville, Texas, rejoiced over the birth of a rare white buffalo calf, named Lightning Medicine Cloud. The white buffalo, more accurately called a bison (Bison bison), has long been a symbol of Native American spirituality, hope and rebirth.
On April 30, the much-revered calf, called “The Hope of All Nations” by the Little Soldiers, was slaughtered and skinned by an unknown rustler or rustlers. What are the chances that another white bison calf will be born any time soon? The National Bison Association estimates that only one out of 10 million births results in a white calf. While the genetics of white bison are not fully understood, four mechanisms are possible.