Spirit Animal Bison (Buffalo)

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The actual name for the North American Buffalo is the Bison.

As massive and bulky as they appear, many people are under the impression that bison are slow and awkward. In reality, bison can outrun and easily out-maneuver most horses. They have the agility of a deer. And if on the run, they can easily break through seemingly adequate corrals. Bison are lightning fast and can run for many miles. They can sprint upwards of 40-miles per hour and have the ability to jump straight up from a complete standstill. Much like a mountain goat, a bison can traverse rough, rocky terrain. At the same time, they are content on the flat prairies many call home.

Although bison are normally quite docile and may allow people to approach them, they can be unpredictable and may charge people or machines in the blink of an eye. They can pivot on their hind feet as well as their front feet and are incredibly fast.

Bison seem to thrive in many environments, from the sub-zero termperatures of the Dakotas in mid-winter, to the sub-tropical climate of the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. They are naturally hardy and extremely healthy. They have very few natural predators and are known to hold their own against Kodiak bears.

Even in ranch environments, bison have retained their natural instincts for survival. They can weather storms and help their newborn calves survive in blizzards that would kill entire herds of cattle. Bison stand face first into the winter winds as the wind blows their hair down. In winter both sexes are covered with a thick, woolly coat of dark-brown hair with longer and darker hair on their heads and forequarters. Bison can root through deep snow cover to get to the grass below, using their massive head like a shovel to push the snow out of the way. When necessary, they can eat snow for water or use their muzzle or hooves to break ice to reach water.

After shedding their heavy coats in spring, long hair remains on the animal's head, forelegs and hump. They languish in the sun and keep their noses into the breeze. Bison love water. They have the ability to smell water from miles away, and are excellent swimmers.

Bison mature and normally breed at two years of age. After a gestation period of 280-days, bison cows produce calves. Most calves are born in the spring as the rutting season is typically in July and August. At birth, they weigh around 40-pounds and shortly after birth calves are standing, nursing and able to keep up with their mothers and the herd. Bison calves nurse more frequently than other ruminants and they begin to eat forage on their first day of life. They grow and develop rapidly, typically weighing about 450 pounds by their first birthday. They mature in 5-6-years, with cows weighing about 1,000-pounds and bulls weighing from 1,500 to over 2,000-pounds.They are very protective and operate as a group when threatened. They face into the threat and back each other up. They are protective of their young and will position themselves between a perceived threat and their calves.

Bison are curious, intelligent, territorial, dignified, playful and tremendously strong. They are unique animals that have survived near-extinction to rally back from the brink of disaster. They offer to us those traits that have enabled them to survive.

A person with a Bison as Power Animal may experience:

  • great health
  • great stamina
  • protectiveness
  • strength
  • agility
  • gentleness
  • strong familial bonds
  • stubbornness
  • calm/meditative personality

Source: http://www.dancingotter.ca/

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