Lightning Medicine Cloud, the beautiful and rare white buffalo from Texas who was tragically discovered dead in a gruesome state in May, has been found by a veterinarian to have been killed by a deadly bacterial infection. This is surely quite a surprise to those, including the owner, who believed that the animal, revered by Native Americans, had been mutilated and skinned as part of a hate crime.
Blackleg, an awful bacterial infection which enters the animal's body through a wound or in food, has been found to be the culprit for the early death of the prized buffalo, as well as two other buffalos on the same ranch.
Even though there is a vaccine for blackleg, it has unfortunately only been approved for cattle. What a shame that these buffalos could not have been saved from this disease by something as simple as a vaccination.
The owner of the calf, Arby Little Soldier, waited a long six days to report the death of the calf, which gained international attention when it was born on the Lakota Ranch near Dallas, Texas. And why did he wait so long to inform authorities?
Because, according to Lakota Sioux beliefs, the revered white buffalo symbolized peace, Little Soldier wanted to talk to his elders before he contacted the police about the death. Lightning Medicine Cloud had actually been buried for three days before the authorities viewed the dead animal, which would probably contribute to a pretty messed up investigation.
Even thought it is sad that this beautiful and very rare white buffalo died along with the two others, it is very comforting to know that its death came from something other than a hate crime.