National Buffalo Museum announces death of White Cloud, the rare albino bison

With deep sadness, the National Buffalo Museum announces the passing of White Cloud, the rare albino buffalo who lived with the museum’s herd for almost two decades.

White Cloud, the albino buffalo who spent many years at the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, recently passed away. (Photo by Searle Swedlund)
White Cloud, the albino buffalo who spent many years at the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, recently passed away. (Photo by Searle Swedlund)

With deep sadness, the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown announced Tuesday the passing of White Cloud, the rare albino buffalo who lived with the museum’s herd for almost two decades. White Cloud died peacefully of old age on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016.

White Cloud was born on the Shirek Buffalo Ranch near Michigan in 1996 and came to live with the herd at the National Buffalo Museum in 1997.  She gave birth to 11 calves during her time in Jamestown, including Dakota Miracle, a rare white bull.  She returned home to the Shirek Buffalo Ranch in May 2016.

White Cloud was beloved by local residents and attracted an estimated 3 million visitors to Jamestown. White bison are exceedingly rare and are considered sacred to indigenous peoples of North America.

“To me, White Cloud was more than a tourist attraction. She drew many, many people to the community, but more than that, she brought the community together with White Cloud Days, parades, and special Native American events, said Don Williams, president of the National Buffalo Museum’s board. “She will be missed by the museum, our city, and by all the travelers that could look to the North and view her as they drove along the I-94 interstate pasture.”

There will not be a formal memorial service for White Cloud, but the museum encouraged those who wish to share their memories, stories and photos on social media using #WhiteCloud.

Plans are being made to bring White Cloud back to the museum as a full-body mount display. Donations can be sent to the White Cloud Preservation and Memorial Fund, c/o National Buffalo Museum, 500 17th St. SE, Jamestown, ND, 58401.

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