Oklahoma State Animal


Bison / American buffalo

Bison / American buffalo; photo © James Ownby: My View of Nature (all rights reserved; used by permission).

Buffalo (American Bison)

Oklahoma designated the buffalo (American bison) as the official state animal 1972. A bull buffalo can weigh up to 2000 pounds and stand 6 foot tall at the shoulder. Buffalo once roamed the American prairie by the tens of millions and provided a way of life for the plains Indians. But European settlers hunted buffalo to the brink of extinction - it's estimated that between 300 - 500 animals remained when the federal government passed stricter game laws in 1889.

The buffalo (Bison bison) is an inseparable part of American history; no other wild animal has played such a significant role in human affairs. The tribes of the American plains relied on bison for food, shelter, clothing, and as a powerful spiritual symbol.



Yellowstone National Park's Wildlife: Bison (Buffalo)