Hays’ first bison herd arrived courtesy of James “Scotty” Philips. Scotty knew Sitting Bull and was aware of the scarcity of bison after their extensive slaughter. By 1893, the 60 million pre-European herd had dwindled to around 100 total bison. In 1916, Philips shipped five bison from his ranch near
The herd was taken over by the City of
This area was home to the largest herd of bison in North America, estimated in the millions at one time. The importance of the bison to the Native Americans of the area should not be overlooked. The natives depended upon the bison for food, shelter, clothing, and tools. They fought hard when millions of the animals were slaughtered as a result of the intrusion of the railroad and white settlers.
The Hays Parks Department maintains the bison herd and wants to remind people that although the animals appear domesticated, it should be remembered they are still wild animals and quite capable of moving very quickly and causing harm to anyone in the pen area.
Are you like us and keep referring to our bison as buffalo? Here is some information we learned about the difference between the two: What's the Difference Between Buffalo and Bison?
Frontier Park West
Highway 183 Alt.
Hays, KS 67601