$45K Offered for Killer of Sacred White Buffalo

Lakota Sioux calf skinned before first birthday celebration
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted May 9, 2012 12:28 AM CDT
Updated May 9, 2012 12:58 AM CDT
Lightning Medicine Cloud gambols with his mom in Greenville, Texas, shortly before his naming ceremony last year.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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(Newser) – A heartless hunter killed and skinned a rare white buffalo calf, and the Indians who believe the young animal was sacred are offering $45,000 for the killer's capture. White buffaloes are believed to occur once in several million births, and they're revered by the Lakota Sioux and other tribes. The calf, Lightning Medicine Cloud, just shy of its first birthday, was killed in a north Texas town when his owner was in Oklahoma. "Someone who probably knew we were out of town killed him and stripped the meat," said Arby Little Soldier, a great-great-great grandson of Sitting Bull. "I could tell it was him because of the white hair that was left on the head and tail."

The calf's mom, Medicine Woman, died within days. Little Soldier believes she was shot with a poison arrow. "I think it was a professional hit on the mom," Little Soldier told the Texas Star Telegram. "It was a slow death." The local sheriff's department, the Texas Rangers and the Bureau of Indian Affairs are investigating the deaths. Several thousand people attended a special naming ceremony last year for the white calf. A planned pow-wow to mark the animal's first birthday will now be a memorial service. Lightning was a "sweet, spiritual animal who was curious about his spirituality and the message that he brought—the hope of all nations," said Little Soldier.

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