Tag Archives: Lakota Ranch

White Buffalo Death Update

Officials in Hunt County, Texas, have closed their case over the death of a white buffalo calf, claiming the animal died of disease and was not slain.  The animal had been born on May 14, 2011, at the Lakota Ranch in Greenville, Texas, and was named Lightning Medicine Cloud.  Ranch owner Arby Little Soldier claims he found the animal dead early this past May with only its head and tail remaining.  The next day he found the calf’s mother dead.  Both deaths, he believed, could have been hate crimes.  White buffaloes are extremely rare and the birth of one is considered a sacred symbol in most Native American communities.

But, a veterinarian who examined both Lightning Medicine Cloud and his mother declared that the calf died of blackleg disease, a highly fatal ailment that primarily afflicts young cattle.  The spores of blackleg can live in soil for many years.  They enter the animal’s body through the digestive tract where the organism creates small punctures.  Blackleg cannot be transmitted from an infect animal to a healthy one, but it is preventable through vaccination.

Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks stated that Arby Little Soldier didn’t contact his office until 6 days after Lightning Medicine Cloud turned up dead.  Initial photos of the body showed it wasn’t skinned.  Supposedly Little Soldier had wanted to consult with his elders before contacting the sheriff’s office.

I can understand why owners of the Lakota Ranch didn’t want to consult with police first.  The Native American community, as a whole, has had a tense relationship with mainstream law enforcement for decades.  But, as significant as white buffaloes are from a cultural standpoint, there’s no reason the Lakota Ranch should have waited 6 days before contacting Hunt County officials immediately.  This ultimately negates the severity of real hate crimes against Indigenous Americans, which often have gone unreported and uninvestigated.

Sheriff Meeks said he will re-open the investigation if new evidence or witnesses surface.

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Update on Buffalo Killings

Lightning Medicine Cloud

Officials in Hunt County, Texas, announced that a grand jury has issued subpoenas in the deaths of a rare white buffalo calf and his mother back in May.  As I’d reported shortly after the incidents, the owners of the Lakota Ranch in Greenville found Lightning Medicine Cloud brutally murdered shortly before the calf’s first birthday.  The next day his mother was found elsewhere on the ranch also brutally murdered.  A celebration to mark the white buffalo’s first birthday proceeded as scheduled, but became a remembrance ceremony instead.

Hunt County Sheriff Randy Meeks said his department has fielded a number of calls from across the nation, but added that authorities still have “a couple of people to interview.”  The Texas Rangers are also assisting in the case.  Since white buffalo are considered sacred to most Native Americans, it’s possible this could be considered a hate crime.  Officials wouldn’t provide any further details, but insist they are actively pursuing the matter.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department at (903) 453-6800 and ask for either Sheriff Randy Meeks or Lt. Tommy Grandfield.

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Rare White Buffalo Remembered


This past weekend hundreds paid tribute to the first anniversary of the birth of a rare white buffalo on the Lakota Ranch in Hunt County, Texas, northeast of Dallas.  As I’d reported previously, Lightning Medicine Cloud was found dead by his owners a couple of weeks ago, skinned and mutilated.  To make matters worse, his mother was found dead the next day; delivering a double shock to the ranch.  A $5,000 reward that owner Arby Little Soldier offered for information leading to the perpetrator or perpetrators has ballooned to $50,000.  But, officials haven’t advised of any positive leads.  Since white buffalo are considered sacred to the Lakota Sioux and other Native American people, the ranch wants Hunt County authorities to consider the possibility of this being a hate crime.

Lightning Medicine Cloud would have turned 1 year old on May 12.  A long-planned birthday celebration metamorphosed unexpectedly into a memorial service with scores of people coming from around the state and the nation to honor the slain calf.  The animal had been named for the lightning storm in which he was born last year.  Solid white buffalo are extremely rare; only 1 in a million buffalo births are pure white.  Lightning Medicine Cloud also was the first white buffalo born to a Native American ranch owner in decades.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hunt County Sheriff’s Department at (903) 453-6800 and ask for either Sheriff Randy Meeks or Lt. Tommy Grandfield.


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