Bison take center stage in new exhibit

OKLAHOMA CITY-  The American Bison has made a resurgence in recent years, now it is center stage with a new exhibit at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

"It's actually called 'Ancient, Massive, Wild' and you have to say it like that. We are trying to bring the bison, America’s largest and greatest land animal to life here in the museum," said Natalie Shirley, President and CEO of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

From its ancient place at the heart of many native societies, to its near disappearance thanks to westward expansion, to the recent resurgence, the exhibit covers it all.

"Man, this is just tremendous, bison are important to me and I love 'em and important to the state," said John Rule of Minco.

On display are paintings, sculptures leatherwork, fire arms, and a big helping of native history.

"Native people used bison from literally from the tip of their nose to the end of the tail. They used every part for one thing or another. They even used buffalo droppings for fuel," said Shirley.

The interactive zone lets the kids get hands on with arts and crafts and they learn something about the recent history of the great beast.

"They were almost extinct but they were put into private herds so they wouldn't," said 9-year-old Austin Jones of Moore.

The OKC Thunder Drum team and Rumble the Bison were there to help kickoff the exhibit which will run through May.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.