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After 19 years in Jamestown, N.D., White Cloud returns to Shirek Buffalo

JAMESTOWN, N.D. - White Cloud, the albino bison that has become a symbol of Jamestown, was returned Saturday to Shirek Buffalo. The National Buffalo Museum announced White Cloud's departure Monday morning. In the press release, the museum explain...

2550284+White Cloud n new calf nursing.jpg
White Cloud nurses a calf she gave birth to on April 22, 2013. JOHN M. STEINER | FORUM NEWS SERVICE

JAMESTOWN, N.D. - White Cloud, the albino bison that has become a symbol of Jamestown, was returned Saturday to Shirek Buffalo.

The National Buffalo Museum announced White Cloud’s departure Monday morning. In the press release, the museum explained that a bison can live in captivity 20 to 25 years. Because of White Cloud’s albinism, her life expectancy is unknown.

During her time here White Cloud has had 11 bison calves including another white bison named Dakota Miracle. Dakota Miracle remains part of the herd at the National Buffalo Museum. “We are aware of her health,” said Don Williams, president of the National Buffalo Museum’s board, in the press release. “Summers are hard on her. As an albino, she can’t regulate her body temperature as well in heat.”

Williams said Shirek Buffalo, the buffalo farm where White Cloud was born, will be able to care for White Cloud during the summer in ways the National Buffalo Museum staff and volunteers can’t.

White Cloud was born on July 10, 1996, at Shirek Buffalo Farm. The Shirek family wanted to make the rare albino bison more visible to the public, so the family made a special arrangement with the museum for White Cloud to live with the bison herd that lives on the grounds around the the museum in 1997.

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The museum staff estimated that more than 3 million visitors have stopped to see White Cloud during the 19 years she was in Jamestown.

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