Indian Cliffs Ranch Part 3 — This Place is a ZOO!


Indian Cliffs Ranch Zoo

Indian Cliffs Ranch Zoo

The history of the Old West is inextricably linked to the cattle of the Old West, as well as the American Bison.  And since Indian Cliffs Ranch enjoys capitalizing on their Wild West image, you just know they had to have examples on site.

Posing for a Buffalo Head Nickel?

Posing for a Buffalo Head Nickel?

There are today about a half million American Bison in North America today, of which only 15,000 are free-roaming animals in the wild.

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American Bison, a.k.a., “Buffalo”

But compare that to numbers in the 18th Century — 60 million.  By 1840 that number had dwindled to 35 million, and just forty years later less than 400,000 remained.

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Bison calf lazing about with mom

In just one ten-year period — from 1870 to 1880 — 93% of North American’s Bison were killed off.  Numbers dropped to 395,000 from 5.5 million just a decade before.

American Bison

American Bison

At the dawn of the 20th Century only 300 of these creatures remained.

American Bison

American Bison

Then there are the animals of the American ranching industry from the 1800s, beginning with the iconic Texas Longhorn:

Texas Longhorn

Texas Longhorn

Another example of Old West ranching is the American Brahman, a breed that originated with cattle imported from India in the 1850s.

American Brahman

American Brahman

Don’t think that the Indian Cliffs Ranch Zoo only houses cattle and bison, however.  There are other animals here as well.  Animals important to other forms of ranching popular in South and Central America.

¿Como se llama, amigo?

¿Como se llama, amigo?

Sleepy-eyed

Sleepy-eyed

Join my next week and we’ll take the Indian Cliffs “Hayride” tour of a stone ranch house straight out of the 1880s, and even visit a movie set where Indian Cliffs Ranch subbed for Iraq.

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