Texas Sheriff: Sacred White Buffalo Was Not Slaughtered | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Texas Sheriff: Sacred White Buffalo Was Not Slaughtered

The mystery surrounding the death of a rare white buffalo and the claim by some Lakota Sioux in Texas that it had been killed by other Native Americans deepened Tuesday. A local sheriff announced that investigators believe the animal died of a bacterial disease and said the case is now closed.

We first posted about the death of Lightning Medicine Cloud in May. A white bison (the more accurate word to use) is considered sacred by many Native Americans. Arby Little Soldier, the owner/operator of the Lakota Ranch where Lightning Medicine Cloud was being raised, had said the animal was found slaughtered and skinned on April 30. He later went on to claim he had evidence that the animal was killed by members of another Native American tribe.

But as our colleagues at KETR report, Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said Tuesday that "it is our belief that Lightning Medicine Cloud and Buffalo Woman [the mother] died of natural causes. ... Information obtained during the investigation indicated many of the signs and symptoms exhibited by the buffalo are similar to a bacterial disease that we know as blackleg."

According to the station, the sheriff also said "authorities have photographs indicating Lightning was not skinned."

"The photographs depict skin and hair on the remains," Meeks said. "The veterinarian advised there was a lot of skin that was still left on the remains."

KETR adds that, "according to Meeks, the Sheriff's Office responded to the Lakota Ranch concerning the deaths on May 3. He told reporters that Lightning Medicine Cloud was deceased at least six days and buried for three days prior to their notification."

Meeks said the case is now closed. "Should further evidence surface in the future that would indicate that the deaths were not natural we will gladly reopen the case," he added.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Crime Time blog adds that Little Soldier "could not be reached for comment Tuesday." The Little Soldier family has previously posted "facts for all viewers, supporters, friends, mourners, and interested persons." That webpage includes this statement: "There was not an insurance policy on Lightning Medicine Cloud."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 17

Art is what you make of it. You can chew, crunch and dance at a bacon-inspired festival or see how a local artist transformed old objects into responsive sculptures.

NPR

Edible Packaging? Retailers Not Quite Ready To Ditch The Wrapper

To reduce waste, some enterprising companies are trying to roll out products that make the package part of the snack — edible packaging. But selling it to the retail market is trickier than it seems.
NPR

House Could Vote On $500 Million To Arm, Train Syrian Rebels

The possible vote to authorize the Obama administration's plan to arm and train moderate fighters comes as the president meets with military officials at U.S. Central Command.
NPR

When The Power's Out, Solar Panels May Not Keep The Lights On

With the price of solar panels falling, more municipalities and homeowners are installing them. But having solar panels doesn't mean you won't lose power in a blackout — at least not yet.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.