Reporting Bud Gillett
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The owner of Fuel City has added the female bison to his herd of longhorns and donkeys. And she is eating for two. “It’s a taste of Texas in downtown Dallas,” says John Benda, owner of Fuel City.
Benda says he wants customers to get a sense of what animals were in Texas before there was a Dallas, and when he got a chance to add the white buffalo to his herd, he took it. “They’re sacred in the Native American culture and they’re a symbol of hope,” he explained, “ and I thought I’d give people a chance to see a buffalo—a rare white buffalo—in downtown Dallas.”
A true white buffalo happens only once every ten million births, according to the National Bison Association. Benda says this one was bred with a white buffalo male, and he’s hoping she will deliver a white calf. The animals have a Texas flavor; the buffalo’s name is Lone Star, and when she has her baby later this year, it will be named Dallas. Benda hopes Lone Star will encourage people to appreciate the Texana atmosphere he’s creating.
The large gas station on the Trinity River Levee is as well known for its inexpensive tacos, sweet corn, and convenience store items as it is for the gasoline it sells. Customers come to see it all. “It’s cool we just stopped in here for him to see the Longhorns, so it’s nice to see something different here,” Paulette Creighton-Gehrke told CBS 11 News.
The last white buffalo reported in this area was a calf named Lightning Medicine Cloud, born in rural Hunt County in May of 2011. But it died less than a year later of a bacterial infection and was a source of much grieving for local Lakota Sioux. That is the one that came to mind as Judy and Rolfe Myers of Plano came by. “I’m surprised to see him (her) actually, I only knew about the one that was born…that died,” Judy told us. Husband Rolfe suggested, “Maybe they ought to have something out here that says something about the white buffalo because a lot of people really don’t realize the significance of it to certain cultures.
Benda, though, just wants to give them something to talk about. “I thought it would be so cool to have a white buffalo,” he explained, something to bring them to his store as long as they’re buying his gas. Benda, by the way, says when the calf is born it will put a cap on his herd; it’ll be ten animals, all that city code will allow him to keep.
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