GREENVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) – One in every ten million male buffaloes is said to be born with a coat of white fur, signaling peace and prosperity to various Native American tribes.
It happened last year in Hunt County, but now sheriff’s investigators say the calf and its parents have all died under mysterious circumstances.
“My people, my brothers, my sisters, are hurt by what happened here on this ranch,” said Arby Little Soldier, a member of the Lakota Tribe and the ranch’s owner.
Little Soldier said the calf, named Lightning Medicine Cloud, and his mother were both slaughtered sometime in the past week.
Sources report the calf had been butchered and skinned.
The Hunt County Sheriff’s Office is now investigating the crime with help from the Texas Rangers, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. “It has far reaching significance, beyond the value of an animal,” said Sheriff Randy Meeks.
The calf’s father also died last month, apparently struck by lightning the same day more than a dozen tornadoes swept through the Metroplex.
The mother and baby remained living in this pasture, within eyesight of where Arby Little Soldier lives and works. He says they died sometime between Wednesday and Sunday of last week during one of his few trips off the ranch. “Somebody had to have known what was going on,” he said.
The calf was just weeks shy of his first birthday, a spiritually significant day, which the tribe still intends to celebrate.
Although investigators say they don’t know the motive for the killings, Little Soldier speculates it was somehow connected to the upcoming birthday. “There’s a reason they didn’t want him to have his first birthday,” he said.