Today, bison can be found in all 50 states, in every Canadian province and in several countries overseas.
Nearly 95 percent of these bison were raised in private herds. In the United States, bison herds account for nearly 200,000 head on 4,500 farms and ranches (2007 Census of Agriculture). Canadian producers add an additional 200,000 head to the North American herd. The balance is part of a Native American herd, lives on public lands (for example, Yellowstone National Park with 3,500 wild, free-ranging bison) or resides in zoos and reserves.
Native American herds, which number close to 20,000 buffalo. (2018)
Bison remains iconic animal through centuries of American art
Wendy Earle | Museum of the Southwest
The American bison might be the most iconic animal in the art of this country. Cows and horses, though important and well-known, were completely domesticated and brought here from Europe. But bison are indigenous to America, and although they were incredibly important to American Indians for thousands of years, they weren’t ever domesticated. Even in the 21st century the bison remains an important symbol of the freedom and wildness of the American West.
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