Thursday, September 14, 2006

White Buffalo Joins New Bird Species

It was a week of rare beauty in the animal world. In India, the first new bird species in 50 years was identified and photographed, while a miracle returned to the American midwest.

Bugun Liocichla is the name given to the new bird species that was discovered Indian astronomer and bird watcher Ramana Athreya. He first spotted the bird in 1995, but he could not confirm the sighting until 11 years later when the bird was spotted this past May. According to scientists there are just 14 known birds of the species, including 3 breeding pairs, with their home being the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Rarer still is the birth of a white buffalo in Wisconsin. White (not albino) buffalo are extremely uncommon with the odds being 1 in millions against, yet this is the third such animal born to the farm. In 1994, a female named 'Miracle' entered the world and lived for 1o years before dying in 2004 and was thought to be the first since 1933. In 1996 a second was born, though it died after only three days, but now a newborn male, unrelated to the Miracle, has arrived. In Native American lore, the white buffalo is a spritually significant and important occurence, and the concentration of three in one place makes the event even more auspicious.

It's no surprise that the farm has had another white buffalo, said Floyd "Looks for Buffalo" Hand, a medicine man in the Oglala Sioux Tribe in Pine Ridge, S.D. He said it was fate that the white buffaloes chose one farm, which will become a focal point for visitors, who make offerings like tobacco and dream catchers in the hopes of earning good fortune and peace.
"That's destiny," he said. "The message was only choose one person."

"That this latest birth is a male doesn't make it any less significant in American Indian prophecies, which say that such an animal will reunite all the races of man and restore balance to the world. The coat on this animal, like Miracle before it, will change from white to black, red and yellow, the colors of the various races of man, before turning brown again."

We can only hope.

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