"OK, let me tell you a little about myself first. My mother carried me around inside of her for about 9 and a half months. When I was born, I weighed around 40-50 pounds. I'm one of the first baby calves to be born. All my cousins will be born from now until June."
"Hey there, big guy, back off. I'm not a threat yet, but give me a few years."
A bison's dominance is based upon its birth date. The bison born earlier in the season are bound to be larger, thus exerting their dominance later as adults.
"Yeah, so watch out for me later, mister! Mom, don't move OK?!"
"Yahoo! Yippee! Golly, this is fun."
The young bison calves will act much like young cattle. Testing out their new legs and almost skipping across the prairie.
"Oh, hey, there you are. I almost forget you were still here. Well, a little bit more about what you will see when you come watch me play around here at Custer State Park. My mom will nurse me for at least 6 to 8 months. All my cousins should be weaned by the time we have our first birthday. Mom won't tell me, but I know that she is at least 3 years old but she can be up to 20-25 years old."
"Don't tell her I said that though, OK? Please?"
"Hey, can you do this? You forget, I'm still young and learning what all these body parts are for. Come on, play with me! Please? There is no one else around and I want to play!"
As the years progress for Baby Tatanka, the pounds and size will add up. Adult females will weigh around 325 pounds and the males will be around that 425 pound range.
"Hey, sorry, Mom said we have to go now. But tell all your friends about me. I'm kind of lonely until all the rest of the kids are born. Tell everyone to come and see me in Custer State Park. I've got the best view of the Black Hills around here, and I'm cute. Come on, admit it."
"Hey, Mom. Slow down, I'm kind of hungry..."
We hope you enjoyed this encounter with Baby Tatanka. Tatanka is the Lakota word for a male buffalo. Check out some more of the Lakota language here. Now, don't be shy and share Baby Tatanka's story with people that you know. Give us a Pin, a Like, a Share, a Tweet or whatever you do - the buttons are right down below. But most importantly, come see us in the most beautiful of South Dakota's state parks, Custer State Park.
"Bye, everyone! Mom says, I have to go. See you again soon!"
IMPORTANT UPDATE: There is now a Part II. Baby Tatanka has lots of cousins now. See more of these cute little buggers in Part II here.
Subscribe to See You Behind the Lens...
Credits: Wikipedia and the National Bison Association
by Richard Stinson