The Woman Who Saved The Buffalo From Extinction

In the 1870s, Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight resided in the Texas Panhandle. The couple lived a good life. They entertained heads of state, hungry cattlemen and Comanche leader Quanah Parker. But the harsh life of the western plains was right outside their door. In the dead of night, Mary Ann Goodnight would lie awake and listen to bison calves cry after their mothers were slaughtered.

Years earlier, settlers had begun killing buffalo and selling the hides for high dollar at the market.

Just a century before, between 30 and 60 million buffalo roamed the west. By the late 1800s, there were only about 300 of the species left in existence. Mrs. Goodnight, known as the "Mother of the Panhandle" for her compassionate demeanor, wanted to do something.

When the Goodnights came across two bison calves, Mary Ann convinced her husband to keep and raise them. From then on, the couple began to build the herd that would save a part of western heritage.

When the Goodnights learned of bison conservation efforts that were underway around the country, they donated and sold portions of their herd to help replenish the species. Bison from the Goodnight herd went to Yellowstone National Park and the New York Zoological Park. A few even went on the road with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.

Today, there are about 500,000 bison in North America.

Thanks to Mary Ann Goodnight and other dedicated conservationists, there are still homes where the buffalo roam.

The above was excerpted from a longer article, which you can read here:

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