Three rare white bison calves born in Oregon

Bend, Oregon (AP) May 2011

Three calves have been added to a one of the largest herds of the rare white buffalo.

The Oregonian reports that the three calves were born over Mother’s Day weekend at a 288-acre sanctuary near Bend, Ore. The additions bring the total number of white bison at the sanctuary to 14.

Sanctuary operator Cynthia Hart-Button says two of the calves are females and one is male.

With their color coming from a recessive gene, white buffalos are rare among bison. They are not albinos.

Bison ranchers estimate there are about 50 white buffalos in the United States. So rare are the animals that Native Americans considered them sacred.