Washington DC Jan 7, 1905
Written for The Evening Star.
The millionaire is the wild animal’s hope. Not only in, this country, but in Europe as well, he is taking the leading part in preserving rare species threatened with extinction, such as the buffalo, the giraffe, and the Altai wapiti.
In this country, a number of well-known and wealthy men are spending immense sums to preserve herds of American bison on their large country estates, which are sometimes as large as the hunting ground of a small tribe in the olden days when the Red Indian was the only enemy the bison knew.
But the great work of the millionaire in saving rare animals from extinction is not done in this manner. It is accomplished through the zoological societies of the great cities-New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston and other places. The millionaire gives his money with astonishing liberality and the authorities of the zoological parks buy with it what they want. In this way, more good is done to the science of zoology than by the making of private collections.
“Is the millionaire a good friend to us?” said W. T. Hornaday, the director of the New York Zoological Park, in reply to a question. “Well, I should say so. If it were not for him, we should have to go out of business, and so would most of the other zoological parks in this country; or rather, we should not have got into business at all.
Save Many Rare Species.
“The millionaires of America are not doing any great work ‘in preserving rare species from extinction by means of private parks. Their best collections of animals are insignificant when compared with some private zoological parks in Europe. But by giving their money to societies like ours, the millionaires are helping to save many rare species from dying out.
“For example, all the antelopes in our house were given us, and many of them are exceedingly rare specimens. Mr. Samuel Thorne gave us our pair of giraffes the only giraffes in a zoological park in America. The giraffe is one of the rarest and most expensive of wild animals, for the species is becoming extinct.
“Mr. George F. Baker, among many valuable gifts, presented us with an eland, pair of white-tailed gnus and a pair of white-bearded gnus, all exceedingly rare animals and worth a lot of money. Mrs. Frederick F. Thompson gave us our Baker’s roan antelope, the first in this country; the Beatrix antelope, the only one on exhibition in America, if not in the world; the Addax antelope, the water-buck and a pair of Altai wapiti. This is a splendid Iot of animals, and cost the donor several thousands of dollars. There is no doubt about it-the millionaires are our best friends. Without the thousands which they give us, we could not keep house.”
You hear the same story at all the zoological parks in the country, but Mr. Hornaday’s magnificent collection of wild animals at the Bronx has been built up within a few short years because the richest millionaires in New York believe in him and are ever ready to open their purse strings at his bidding. He has only to make it known that a rare and costly animal is required, and somebody immediately steps forward with an offer to put up the money.
Gifts From Individuals.
When it became necessary to stock the lion house it was decided that the patrons and founders of the New York Zoological Society, most of whom are well-known millionaires, should be invited to contribute sums of money with which to purchase animals to take their places in the collection as individual gifts. Mr. Hornaday made out a list of the animals wanted and put alongside of them their probable cost. This list was sent around to the millionaires. And they responded promptly, with the result that every animal in the lion house today, except the babies born there, is the gift of some individual member or friend of the society. Altogether the collection cost over $15,000.
Nelson Robinson gave a splendid pair of Barbary lions, which are declared by experts to be “equal to the finest to be found in captivity anywhere.” The male, “Sultan,” according to Mr. Hornaday, is “as handsome a lion as ever trod a cage floor,” and his mate, “Bedouin Maid,” is “a model fit to represent her sex in any studio.” Andrew Carnegie gave another magnificent Barbary lion named “Hannibal,” which is said to possess the most luxuriant mane of any lion on show. “Hannibal” is also the vainest beast in the business. He is always striking imposing attitudes in the center of his cage, for the benefit of visitors, and if he sees that nobody is looking at him he roars with disgust and curls himself sulkily up in a corner. His mate, “Cleopatra,” was the gift of Col. Oliver H. Payne.
Cleveland H. Dodge gave a young short maned Nubian lion, “Dongola,” and Philip Schuyler was the donor of a beautiful female lion, “Sandibel,” from Senegal, West Africa.
Col. Payne, who takes great interest in wild animals, ordered a pair of Siberian tigers as one of his gifts. The order was given between two and three years ago, but it has not yet been filled. There is real difficulty in procuring specimens of this very rare variety. It is the largest, most costly and most sought after of all tigers, and the number now in captivity could be counted on the fingers of both hands.
Many agents have been at work during the past two or three years trying to gratify Colonel Payne, but none has yet succeeded. These Siberian tigers, like their brethren of Korea and Manchuria, are extremely hardy. They can be kept out in the open throughout the winter, in the snow and ice and will not suffer any more than the polar bears do. This is one reason why they are so eagerly desired by zoological parks.
Jacob H. Schiff gave two beautiful specimens of the cheetah, or hunting leopard, and William D. Sloan presented a pair of jet black leopards from the Malay peninsula. These black leopards, as a rule, are the most vicious and cantankerous of all felines. A wildcat is amiable by comparison, and a Jaguar is positively gracious. But Mr. Sloan’s, specimens are not so cross as most black leopards, a fact which greatly enhances their value.
Of the most costly gifts consisted of a couple snow leopards, presented by Mrs. Emma B. Auchincloss. Snow leopards are the rarest of the large feline animals, and before these specimens were obtained from the lower slopes of the Himalayas there were only two in captivity – one in London and the other in Berlin. Unfortunately one of Mrs. Auchincloss leopards escaped from its cage one might last summer, and had to be shot by a policeman after an exciting chase all over the park. Among the other millionaires who presented valuable felines were Frederick L. Eldridge, Captain Thomas Golding, and Charles T Barney.
It is owing to the generosity of the millionaires that the New York Zoological Park possesses four animals which are not on exhibition anywhere else in the world. They are the white raccoon dog, the Peninsula bear from Alaska, the Admiralty Islands bear, also from Alaska, and the little brown crane, captured about fifty miles from Nome. There are also many other animals in the park which are the only specimens of their kind in this country.
The Millionaire and the Buffalo.
The only animal that is being privately preserved from extinction in this country is the American bison, better known as the buffalo. The largest herd is that founded by the late August Corbin at Blue Mountain Forest Park, in Sullivan county. N. H. The park is about 27,000 acres in extent, and includes within its borders a big mountain. An enthusiastic visitor recently said that it is one of the greatest game preserves in the world, and contains “almost every species of wild brute.” his is an exaggeration. There are many larger game preserves in Europe and India, the latter being owned by the native princes. Besides bison, the Corbin preserve is stocked with moose, elk, wild boars and over 3,000 white-tailed deer, but it certainly does not possess anything like “almost every species of wild brute.”
The most interesting feature of the collection is the buffalo herd, which is undoubtedly the best in the United States. The late Mr. Corbin bought thirty bison about fifteen years ago and put them in the park, with the praiseworthy idea of saving America’s most representative animal from extinction. The herd now numbers nearly 200, and all the animals are in splendid condition. From the first, the bison throve wonderfully in the New Hampshire mountains, and they have never ceased to do so. The preserve is now kept up by the Corbin estate.
In Private Preserves.
In Minnesota, on a large estate near St. Paul. James J. Hill has a small herd of buffalo, which are doing well and rapidly increasing. Mr. Hill takes good care to keep his herd pure bred. Unfortunately, this I not the case with Charles Goodnight, a wealthy ranchman in Texas, who also has a herd of bison. He crosses them with domestic cattle, and the value of the herd as a means of preserving the species is thereby greatly lessened Mr. Goodnight’s herd consisted, according to the latest report presented to Congress, of a hundred and ten head. Mr. Hill’s numbered twenty-four, all save three being pure-blooded.
The late W. C. Whitney had a herd of twenty-one buffalos on October mountain. Lenox, Mass. They were given to the New York Zoological Park, together with a number of elk, and are now on exhibition in the buffalo ranges at the park.
William. Rockefeller has large herds of deer on his estates. He gave two fine herds of red deer and fallow deer to the New York Zoological Park.
On the Jackson estate near Nashville, Tenn., there is a herd of about 300 deer running absolutely wild in the forest of the estate. Efforts have been made, to catch them and sell them, but they are so wild that they have always killed themselves in their terror when penned into log barriers. There is a deal on foot at the present time to sell 200 of the deer to a hunting club, which has a preserve of 18,000 acres in Tennessee, but the owners of the deer are unable to deliver the goods. They have to catch their deer before they can sell them.
A Duke’s Private Collection.
The only species that is really being preserved from extinction in America. It will be seen from these facts, is the buffalo. In Europe private enterprise in this matter operates on a much wider scale.
Mr. Hornaday told the writer of a visit which he paid to the Duke of Bedford’s private zoological collection at Woburn Park in England. He declared that it is far and away the finest collection of hoofed animals in the world. Its magnitude and importance are unbelievable until it is seen. The finest public zoological gardens in the world are far inferior. Where they have one or two species of a rare animal, the duke had a whole herd. The eland is an example. It is very rare, and the best zoological gardens have only a single specimen. There is but one in the whole of America, but the duke has no fewer than twenty-eight.
He can well afford such luxuries, for he is one of the richest peers in Great Britain. With the possible exception of the Duke of Westminster, he is the biggest of the London ground landlords. He owns the land on which about a square mile of the most valuable property in London is built, and as the leases of the ground fall in from year to year, his wealth increases like a snowball rolling down hill. It is, therefore, a mere bagatelle for him to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in stocking a zoological park of several hundreds of acres with the rarest living animals.
His collection at Woburn Park is one of the wonders, of England, but very few people have seen it. The duke does not care to show it to visitors unless, as in the case of Mr. Hornaday, they take a keen scientific interest in the subject. Walter Rothschild’s private zoological garden at Tring park is well known and has formed the subject of hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles, but, when compared with the-Duke of Bedford’s. It is as a China orange to all Lombard street. Mr. Rothschild has always been eager to show his collection to callers, and that is why it is so much better known than the duke’s.
Very Rare Animals.
Among the very rare animals owned by the duke are waterbuck, sable antelopes, American bison, gnus, many of the almost extinct deer of Europe, .Altal, wapiti, swamp deer of India. David’s deer of China, and Prejevalsky horses. The duke’s herd of David’s deer is all that stands between that species and extinction.
Prejevalsky horses are found in, central Asia, and there are only a few specimens in captivity. Some of them are in the New York zoological park,- ‘When the duke decided that he wanted some he gave an order to a German collector for six pairs at 8000 a pair.
An-expedition was sent to the deserts of central Asia especially to catch these animals. The .Germans in charge of the expedition hired no fewer than a thousand wild Kirghiz horsemen for the task.
This small army penetrated into unexplored deserts, and, after undergoing many hardships, caught a herd of the rare animals. The herd was surrounded by the Kurghiz, and all the colts were taken. It was useless to capture the adult animals, as they were too wild to be transported. The colts were suckled by a number of brood mares which had been brought with the expedition for that purpose, and finally, twenty-two were transported to Hamburg alive. The duke got his six pairs, and the others were sold to various zoological gardens.
To Gratify His Wife
The duke has created his wonderful private zoological garden mainly for the pleasure of his wife. The duchess of Bedford is an enthusiastic zoologist and is a fellow of the London Zoological Society, of which her husband is president. She is a remarkable good photographer of wild animals. Whenever she hears of a rare species which she has not seen, she is at once possessed with a keen desire to study it and photograph it. Then, of course, it is “up to” the duke to send his agents to the ends of the earth and secure the beast at any expense.
There is only one private collection of wild animals that is comparable with the duke’s. It is on the estate of Baron Falz Fein in southeast Russia. It is not so large or so complete as the duke’s. but it probably contains a better lot of hoofed animals than any of the public zoological gardens. Unfortunately, the baron’s estate is in a very remote locality, and few zoologists have inspected it.
Several wealth Englishmen own collections of wild animals. Sir Edward Giles Loder has spent large sums and got together a big zoological garden, but he has not purchased rare specimens. Mr.Leyland of Hagerston Castle. Northumberland sold the New York Zoological Park a number of valuable beasts the other day. among them being bison, gnu. wapiti, axis deer. chamois, kangaroos, emus and ostrichs. At Hagerston Castle there is, a very line lot of rare animals.
In France and Germany.
In France and Germany, many wealthy men own large game preserves by means of which they .are helping to save some species from extermination. This is particularly the case with the aurochs, the bison which once roamed over the forests and mountains of Europe, and the killing of which was a favorite exploit of Charlemagne’s paladins. The aurochs is also preserved by. Prince Demidoff-Korsakoff and other Russian noblemen in the Caucasus, but they have not the right idea in the matter, for they occasionally invite the czar and other monarchs to visit the preserves and shoot a few of the rare beasts. They regard it as sport fit for monarchs only, but such sport does not help to prevent the extermination of the species.
The best way in which the millionaire can be the wild animals’ savior is the way chosen by most American millionaires-to give money to the zoological parks for the collection and preservation of rare species. This is of far greater scientific and educational value than the building up of vast private collections like that of the Duke of Bedford. Probably, less than two hundred persons see his animals in the course of a year; while over a million visit the New York Zoological Park, and proportionate numbers flock to similar Institutions in the big cities of the country.
The American millionaire is much less selfish in his zoological work than his European prototype, and he is spending more and-more money every year for the mutual benefit of the public and the animals.
The San Francisco Call LOC
San Francisco Cal Jan 8, 1905
GOOD BEEF FROM CROSS OF BISON WITH CATTLE
British Stock Grower Pleased With the Result of His Experiment.
Special Cable to The Call and New York Herald, Copyright, 1905 by the New York Herald Publishing Company.
LONDON, Jan. 7. – for some time Mr. Leyland of Haggerston Castle has been experimenting with a cross of the North American bison and various types of British bred cattle. His idea is to provide a variant of British beef.
The first two of these animals sent to the market were a cross between the bison and a highland variety, which has just arrived at Newcastle. The animals had grown to maturity in wild state and much resembled their American ancestors, clothed with the black, shaggy coat of the true bison, with his splendid horns and shoulders. Great difficulty was experienced in getting the animals to Newcastle, as they were wild and fierce. One had to be shot in its box.
When skinned and cut up it appeared that the beef was very rich and of better quality than the ordinary.
The Topeka State Journal
Topeka, Kansas, February 20, 1905
FRANK PROUTY HERE
Arranging to Entertain Editors With a Buffalo Hunt.
Frank Proutv. an old Topeka newspaper man whose father formerly owned a part of the Topeka “Record” well as the “Commonwealth,” was in the city today in the interests of the annual convention of the National Educational association which meets this year during June 6, 7 and 8 at Guthrie, Okla. Mr. Prouty is now editing the “Star” at Fallis. I. T
The management of the Miller ranch, which is due south over the line from Arkansas City, is exceeding itself in preparations for entertaining the members of the convention. The Miller boys will give an entertainment lasting over three days beginning with June 8, at which there will be a grand melee of cowboys, buffaloes, and Indians. An effort is being made to reinact some of the early frontier scenes on the plains. A herd of 300 buffaloes, 500 cowboys and some 5.000 of the tribal Indians from the territory will be on hand to aid in the entertainment which is being put up by the Miller boys at an expense of approximately $5,000. They expect to make it all back by running excursions from Chicago, Kansas City, and St. Louis.
A representation will be given of an old time buffalo hunt and a buffalo barbecue will be given at which three of the animals will be roasted and distributed free to those attending.
Mr. Prouty. who is a representative from the Fifth district to the territorial legislature, returned to his home this evening accompanied by his sister, Miss Lenna Prouty.
Washington D.C. July 30, 1905
Dinner Hour At The Zoo (extract)
Of late there has been some talk of giving the buffalos a bigger range. The Zoo officials say that there has been nothing done toward it yet but there are hundreds of acres In Rock Creek Park, adjoining the Zoo, much of which would make good range for the bison. It Is just possible that an arrangement may be made by which some of this may be fenced In and the bison given a better chance to multiply than heretofore. At present, the Zoo is boarding a lot of the buffalo deposited by Buffalo Bill. There have been two calves born at the Zoo within the past two seasons.
Washington D.C. Sept 24, 1905
Frank Rockefeller And The Wild Animals He Loves
“Both Moose and buffalo are tamable; women may pet them even, except at certain times. In a fight, by the way, the buffalo is no match for the elk. Because of the great strength in spread of his horns the elk is able to tear the buffalo literally the pieces.”
Mr. Rockefeller is very much in sympathy with the movement lately set on foot by Dan Beard, the artist writer and naturalist, and editor of Recreation, for the preservation of the bison or buffalo.
“I have greatly in hopes that some way might be worked out for the saving of the buffalo.” said Mr. Rockefeller, “and I started a herd on my Belvidere ranch some years ago. But I have never had much luck breeding buffalo, and to-day there are only four head in my herd, all told. I have talked with “Buffalo Bill” Cody, “Buffalo” Jones, and several other men who claimed to know and ought to know a good deal about them.
“The man who knows more about them in my judgment than anyone else alive is named Goodnight, and he lives at Goodnight, Tex. He has quite a herd, and some years ago he believed he could produce a new breed by crossing buffalo and regular cattle, which would be of great value both as to hardiness and beef producing qualities. He proposed naming the new species “Cattalo’ when it should be produced, and he has devoted a good deal of time, money, and attention to the matter.
“But with all his knowledge and experience he has produced no results that are very encouraging nor has he managed to increase his herd much, if any. He has been able to breed a few common cows to buffalo bulls, but buffalo cows have never been bred to common bull’s successfully. In my experience pure bred buffalo have never borne young oftener than once in two years, and I am doubtful whether they breed any oftener than that in the wild state. I was told that if the calves were taken from their mothers they would breed yearly, and I tried it, but it didn’t work.
“I have seen it advocated that the government establish a great reservation in New Mexico and breed buffalo there, and the scheme sounds all right. But the trouble is that what’s everybody’s business is nobody’s and there is danger that the buffalo wouldn’t be properly cared for.
“Look at the buffalo and the Yellowstone reservation; the herd is smaller to-day than it was years ago. I do not know that this is because the buffalo do not breed there: probably they do, but slowly, as I believe they do everywhere, and in all circumstances. But the animals are not properly watched: every now and then they wander across the border of the reservation and are shot.
“Mr. Beards plan contemplates the establishment of a buffalo sanctuary in a part of the Flathead Indian reservation in Montana, and I hope it will go through. I have thought it would be better to locate such a reservation, if ever established, in the Southwest, as that seems to me to be there natural breeding place. Still they can breed in the North, for as I understand it the buffalo herd established by Austin Corbin in New Hampshire is increasing steadily, so it is quite feasible that a government reservation in the North would be a success.”
Mr. Beard scheme for buffalo reservation is based on the fact that the Flathead reservation in Montana, by act of Congress, is to be thrown open to settlers in the spring. What is known as the Pablo-Allard herd ranges on that reservation, and it is Beards plan to set aside an area of ninety-six square miles – twelve miles long by eight miles wide – for they use forever of this herd. It is the only large herd of buffalo now living on an old range, and the fact that buffalo have thriven there from time immemorial Mr. Beard considers presumptive proof that they will continue to thrive there if properly guarded and provided for.
Grover Cleveland, Melville R. Stone, John Burroughs, Robert Morris, Robert Muir and many other well-known men are heartily in favor of the scheme.
Holbrook Argus – LOC
Holbrook Arizona Oct 14, 1905
BUFFALO FOR GRAND CANYON
Twenty-Nine Animals to be Turned Loose in the Reserve
Twenty-nine American bison, the last remnant of their race, were in Los Angeles recently on the way to the Grand Canyon reserve, where it is hoped they will multiply, and the almost extinct buffalo again become numerous.
It is probable that these buffalo will not be placed where they ‘ will be easily accessible to sight-seers, at the Grand Canyon for the reason that good results can not be obtained if they are constantly under the eye of the curious.
These animals are the property of “Buffalo” Jones, who has made a study, of the habits of the bison for a quarter of a century, and; who has done much to prevent this specie from becoming extinct.
Fully twenty years ago, out in western Kansas. Buffalo Jones began the work of gathering in– 1 to one common herd the remaining specimens of the buffalo to be found on the western plains near Dodge City. There he established a buffalo domain, and there first began his experiments in the cross breeding of the bison with domestic cattle. The buffalo in Los Angeles were shipped from Monterey, Mexico. They have been roaming a large reserve many miles from that point and were on the way to their new grounds where it is hoped they will increase. –Ex
The Topeka Daily Capital Nov 10 1905
“BUFFALO” JONES AND HIS “CATTALO” ROBE
Topeka Man Has at Last Succeeded in Getting His New Fur Producing
Animals Scheme on a Business Basis
Special to the Capital.
……Washington, Nov. 9.- “Buffalo” Jones of Topeka has, at last, got his scheme for the preservation of the bison and the production of a new fur-bearing animal on a business basis, and in the course of a short while, perhaps a few months, the “cattalo robe” will commence to be regularly quoted on the market.
Mr. Jones passed through Washington this week and had a talk with President Roosevelt, who is much interested in everything relating to big game life in the West.
……Mr. Jones has already started a ranch down on the western edge of the Grand Canyon, where they are rearing buffalo and cattalo and carrying on experiments with Persian sheep. Possibly through the intervention of the President, Mr. Jones may get the loan of the buffalo bulls that will soon have to be thinned out of the Yellowstone Park herd, and this will mean a substantial addition to the breeding stock on the forest reserve grazing land.
……The pride of “Buffalo” Jones’s life just now is a cattalo robe that he is carrying on to New York to show some friends there and which he will afterwards take back west with him. Cut square, the skin is about eight feet each way, of a glossy blackish-brown, very soft and with hair not quite as long as a bear’s.
“Buffalo” Jones was game warden for Yellowstone park for some years, resigning his position last spring.
The Topeka Daily Capital
Topeka, Kansas, Nov 29, 1905
BUFFALO MEAT FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER
Twenty Head of the Few Remaining Bison Will Be Slaughtered for Holiday Trade if There is Demand for the Meat.
If the people of Topeka want to eat buffalo meat for their Christmas dinners though Wolff Packing company proposes to slaughter and placed on sale the meat from twenty head of buffalo and to supply the epicures with buffalo steaks, roast, tenderloin, pot roast, and tongue. The average price for this rare meat will be twenty cents per pound.
“Buffalo” Jones, formerly game Warden of the Yellowstone park who has a buffalo ranch in Arizona, has made a proposition to the Wolff company to furnish them with twenty buffalo. The company will not accept the offer in till it is sure of being able to dispose of the meat. Charles Wolff, president of the company, said last night that twenty cents per pound would probably be asked for the meat.
The animals that will be slaughtered are not hybrids. They are the real thing, the genuine buffalo, the kind that Masterson used to kill in such prodigious quantities on the outskirts of Dodge city and the kind Prince Alexis, from Russia to Kansas to kill. These shaggy hunchback’s of the plains will be killed for the same reason that Bat killed them – for their hide. The carcass is only a secondary consideration. One would naturally suppose that owing to the rarity of the buffalo such an animal would be worth more alive than slaughtered but such is not the case. Mr. Jones says that he can get $1,200 for each of the hides and that at this time of the year the hides are in their best condition for making of robes.
According to a recent magazine article, there are now only about 230 full-blooded buffaloes in existence. There is not supposed to be anything especially toothsome about buffalo meat that the fact that this will likely be the last chance for anyone to have even a taste of buffalo meat it is thought will cause a great many people to want it. This is likely the last time that buffalo meat will ever be sold in a way permitting an ordinary purchaser to buy it. Much has been said about the shameful slaughter of the buffalo and much is now been said in favor of the national government taking some action toward perpetuating the now almost extinct species.
Waterbury Evening Democrat
Waterbury Connecticut Dec 14 1905
SOCIETY TO SAVE BISON
Plans of Organization Supported by President Roosevelt
MOVEMENT STARTED AT NEW YORK
Congress Will Be Appealed to for as Appropriation to Provide Reservations For Maintaining Herds of Buffalo Americas Mammal’s Commercial as Well as Sentimental Value to Be Urged
Supported by President Roosevelt and by the leading naturalists of the country, the American Bison society was organized recently at a meeting in the New York zoological gardens, Bronx park, says the New York Post. The object of the founders is to secure government and individual aid in preserving the bison, which is rapidly becoming extinct in the land where once his breed roved the plains by millions.
After securing as large a membership and as many contributions as possible, the society will appeal to congress for, an appropriation large enough to provide one or more bison reservations great tracts of land on which the animals may flourish and multiply. At present, there are less than 1,000 of them in America outside of zoological gardens, and the owners are private citizens without enclosures of sufficient size to give a buffalo the range he needs. If the government will undertake the solution of the problem, say the naturalists, there will be no difficulty in warding off the destruction of the finest animals now existing.
At the meeting in the Bronx, Mr. Roosevelt was chosen honorary president of the society. He had agreed previously to accept the office on condition the active list should be composed of the proper men, and ever since the plan was broached to him by Ernest Harold Baynes he has been enthusiastic over its outcome. The other officers elected were William T. Hornaday president; Professor Charles S. Minot of Harvard university and President A. A. Anderson of the Campfire Club of America,, vice presidents; Ernest Harold Baynes, secretary, and Edward Seymour, treasurer.
Speaking of the reasons for the movement to save the bison, Mr. Baynes described several experiments he had made to prove that the animals were superior to domestic cattle as draft beasts. He borrowed two baby bulls from the Corbins, who own a herd of 160 head in New Hampshire, and trained them to the yoke. Within a few months they were entirely serviceable and could give points in pulling a load to any oxen of their own age, They were also drilled in single harness, and throughout their rearing were cared for like ordinary calves.
Once the government has acquired a herd and started to increase its numbers along proper lines, Mr. Baynes says, the bison’s commercial value to the United States will become
established. Besides promising well as a draft animal, the buffalo furnishes meat that cannot be surpassed and fur robes that for certain purposes cannot be equaled by those from any other creature. With the breed systematically maintained there could be a large output from time to time for these uses, the animals being distributed throughout the country as fast as they overflowed their reservations.
Of the sentimental reasons for saving the bison much has been said, but hitherto no practical step has been taken for his preservation. Every one knows how his progenitors, when there were millions of them, served the western pioneers for food when no other food was obtainable and gave winter clothing to the first settlers when a buffalo hide was the most easily procured and often the only covering to be had. Even if they were of no commercial worth, as Mr. Baynes says. Americans who know of their part in the country’s history should not like to see them effaced from the earth.
The danger that the private herds will disintegrate may not be immediate, but it is certain the strength of the breed will gradually diminish unless the animals can have the freedom and wide range their natures require. Besides the herd in New Hampshire, there are large ones in Montana and Texas and smaller ones In other western states. The Montana herd, owned by a half Indian named Pablo, is said to be the largest numbering 225. It is not known, however, that these are full blooded. The “catalo,” which is half domestic cattle and half wild buffalo, has come to be a common animal in the herds, and some owners have made a special effort to raise these crosses, which are noted for their valuable hides.
In addition to the weakening of the bison from being shut into small inclosures, his owners are hastening his end by selling an occasional head or hide. A buffalo robe these days brings from $150 to $200. A head, mounted, costs $800 or $900 in a taxidermist’s shop. It is no small temptation to the owner when a buyer drops in once or twice a year and offers him fancy prices for a few of the animals.
Mr. Baynes says the appeal to congress for a reservation and an appropriation will be made as soon as possible. In the meantime a committee will confer with President Roosevelt.
New York. NY., December 17, 1905
TO PRESERVE THE BISON
Plan of Placing Those Remaining on Large Ranges.
At the meeting of persons interested in the preservation of the American bison. Ernest Harold Baynes who was elected secretary of the society which was formed for the purpose, enumerated the number of uses to which bison could be put if their numbers were increased. One of these was a suggestion that had a little of the flavor of hitching Pegasus to a plough. “They could be used as oxen are used.” he declared. He had with him in support of his assertion a photograph which showed himself riding behind a pair of harnessed buffalo calves.
Mr. Baynes’s home is in Meriden, N. H., where he has had an opportunity to become acquainted with the members of the herd of 180 bison on the 37,000-acre Corbin estate. This herd is said to be the best in the country, and, barring the one owned by Western Indians, ‘who possess about two hundred and fifty, the largest single group of the animals. The tamed buffalo team is only one of the manifestations of a knack which Mr.Baynes has for getting inside the hide of animals and persuading them to recognize in him a friend and master. He could write a book on “Wild Animals I Have Known Intimately,” for foxes and other animals and birds have accepted him on intimate terms.
The plan for preserving the buffaloes is to divide them into herds and place these on widely separated ranges so that the appearance of a contagious disease would not extinguish the race. These ranges should be as large as possible in order to restore to the animal his native habitat.
The Anaconda Standard Dec 19 1905
CONGRESS AND THE BUFFALO
……The American Bison society, which was organized in New York City last week, hopes to secure government and individual aid in preserving the buffalo from extinction. Specifically, the society will appeal to congress for an appropriation large enough to provide one or more buffalo reservations – great tracts of land on which the animals may flourish, and increase, and multiplied. At present, there are less than 1,000 of them in America outside of zoological gardens, and the owners are private citizens without inclosures of sufficient size to give up buffalo the range he needs. If the government will undertake the solution of the problem, say the naturalist, there will be no difficulty in warding off the destruction of the finest animals now existing. Ernest H. Baynes, the secretary of the society and its chief promoter, described at the New York meeting several experiments he had made to prove that buffaloes are superior to domestic cattle as draught beast. He borrowed to baby Bulls from the Corbin’s, who own a herd of 160 head in New Hampshire and train them to the yoke. Within a few months, they were entirely serviceable and could give points in pulling a load to any oxen of their own age. They were also drilled in single harness and throughout their rearing were cared for like ordinary calves. Once the government has acquired a herd and started to increase its numbers along proper lines, Mr. Baynes says the bison’s commercial value to the country will become established. Besides promising well as the draught animal, the buffalo furnishes meat that can
not be surpassed and fur robes that for certain purposes cannot be equaled by those from any other creature. With the breed systematically maintained, there could be a large output from time to time for these uses, the animals being distributed throughout the country as fast as they overflowed their reservations.
……With the sentimental reasons for preserving the buffalo, every American is familiar. Even at the animal were of no commercial worth, so fine a beast, and native product, should not be effaced from the earth. The danger that the private herds will disintegrate may not be immediate, but it is certain the strength of the breed will gradually diminish unless the animals can have the freedom and wide range their nature requires. In addition to the weakening of the bison from being shut into small inclosures, his owners are hastening his and by selling in an occasional herd or hide. A buffalo robe these days brings from $150-$200. I head, well mounted, cost $800 or $900 in a taxidermist shop. It is no small temptation to the owner when a buyer drops in once or twice a year and offers him fancy prices for a few of the animals.
The American Bison society is assured of the active interest of Pres. Roosevelt, and an appeal to Congress for reservation an appropriation should not be in vain.
The Gastonia Gazette NC Dec 22 1905
SOCIETY TO SAVE BISON
Plans of Organization Supported by President Roosevelt.
MOVEMENT STARTED AT NEW YORK
Congress Will Be Appealed to For an Appropriation to Provide Reservations For Maintaining Herds of Buffalo – American Mammal’s Commercial as Well as Sentimental Value to Be Urged.
……Supported by President Roosevelt and by the leading naturalist of the country, the American Bison society was organized recently at a meeting in the New York zoological gardens, Bronx park, says the New York Post. The object of the founders is to secure government and individual aid in preserving the bison, which is rapidly becoming extinct in the land where once his breed roved the plains by millions.
After securing as large a membership and as many contributions as possible, the society will appeal to congress for an appropriation large enough to provide one or more bison reservations- great tracts of land on which the animals may flourish and multiply. At present, there are less than 1,000 of them in America outside of zoological gardens, and the owners are private citizens without enclosures of sufficient size to give a buffalo the range he needs. If the government will undertake the solution of the problem, say the naturalist, there will be no difficulty in warding off the destruction of the finest animals now existing.……At the meeting in the Bronx, Mr. Roosevelt was chosen honorary president of the society. He had agreed previously to accept the office on condition the active list should be composed of the proper men, and ever since the plan was broached to him by Ernest Harold Baynes he has been enthusiastic over its outcome. The other officers elected were William P. Hornaday, president: Professor Charles S. Minot of Harvard university and president A.A. Anderson of the Campfire Club of America, vice presidents: Ernest Harold Baynes, secretary, and Edward Seymour, treasure.
……Speaking of the reasons for the movement to save the bison, Mr. Baynes described several experiments he had made to prove that the animals were superior to domestic cattle as draft beast. He borrowed to baby bulls from the Corbin’s, who owns a herd of 160 head in New Hampshire, and trained them to the yoke. Within a few months, they were entirely serviceable and could give points to pulling a load to any oxen of their own age. They were also drilled in single harness, and throughout their rearing were cared for like ordinary calves.
……Once the government has acquired after herd and started to increase its numbers along proper lines, Mr. Baynes says, the bison’s commercial value to the United States will become established. Besides promising well as a draft animal, the buffalo furnishes meat that cannot be surpassed and fur robes that for certain purposes cannot be equaled by those from any other creature. With the breed systematically maintained there could be a large output from time to time for these uses, the animals being distributed throughout the country as fast as they overflowed their reservations.
……Of the sentimental reasons for saving the bison much has been said, but hitherto no practical step has been taken for his preservation. Every one knows how his progenitors, when there were millions of them, serve the western pioneers for food when no other food was obtainable and gave winter clothing to the first settlers when a buffalo hide was the most easily procured and often the only covering to be had. Even if they were of no commercial worth, as Mr. Baynes says, Americans who know of their part in the country’s history should not like to see them effaced from the earth.
……The danger that the private herds will disintegrate may not be immediate, but it is certain the strength of the breed will gradually diminish and less the animals can have the freedom and wide range their natures require. Besides the herd in New Hampshire, there are large ones in Montana, and Texas and smaller ones in other western states. The Montana herd, owned by a half Indian named Pablo, is said to be the largest, numbering 225. It is not known, however, that these are all full-blooded. ……The “cattalo” which is domestic cattle and half wild buffalo, has come to be a common animal in the herds, and some owners have made a special effort to raise these crosses, which are noted for their valuable hides. In addition to the weakening of the bison from being shut into small inclosures, his owners are hastening his end by selling and occasional head or hide. A buffalo robe these days brings from $150-$200. A head, well mounted, cost $800 or $900 in a taxidermist shop. It is no small temptation to the owner when a buyer drops in once or twice a year and offers him fancy prices for a few of the animals.
……Mr. Baynes says be appeal to congress for reservation and an appropriation will be made as soon as possible. In the meantime a committee will confer with President Roosevelt.