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The American Bison

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Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
Visitors to Denver’s Buffalo Herd Nature Preserve at Genesee on Interstate 70 snap photos standing beside the fence, which carries a sign to stay back 3 feet because buffalo are dangerous and unpredictable.
The American bison, hulking, humped and hoofed

Strictly speaking, in Colorado a Buffalo is a collegiate athlete from Boulder. A bison is the great hulking, humped and hoofed animal that once covered the great plains — tens of millions of them. A distant relative of the "true" buffalos of Asia and Africa, the bison has always played a role in America's story. Native people knew every part of the bison had value. Many settlers moving westward thought otherwise, and by 1900 the continent’s largest mammal was at the edge of extinction. But thanks in part to Teddy Roosevelt, conservation efforts soon kicked in.

In 1914 the City of Denver established a herd, with two bison from the Zoo and a few more from Yellowstone. Today, you can see their descendants alongside I-70 in Genesee Park, and in the San Luis Valley a herd of 2000 roaming a 50,000-acre pasture.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.