Janesville, WI: On Sunday evening, November 26, bolt of lightening
struck and killed Miracle's Second Chance, The Sacred White
Buffalo. "Chance" was discovered in a field after his caretaker,
Dave Heider, saw Chance's mother walking alone and grunting. Dave
followed the white calf's mother up a hill where he found Chance
lying dead near a tree.
Valerie Heider, Dave's wife, had been at home when the lightening
struck. She said it was like "flashbulbs" going off in all the
windows. Seconds later, a huge orchestra of thunder rolled across
the sky. The storm itself began about ten minutes later. It was
after the storm when Chance was found.
Miracle's Second Chance is the third white buffalo to be born at the
Heider ranch. The first lived only a few days. The second, a female named
Miracle, was born on August 20, 1994 and died in 2004. Chance, a
male, was born August 25, 2006, the same day another lightening
storm hit the Janesville area. "He was born in lightening and taken
by lightening" said Stephanie Schwartz, webmaster for Miracle and
Miracle's Second Chance and close friends with the Heiders.
White buffalo, which are extremely rare, are sacred to many Native
American tribes. The animals fulfill the legend of the White
Buffalo Calf Woman and her message that foretells peace. Part
of the legend includes the calf changing colors: from white, to
black, to red, then brown. After Chance was killed, Dave Heider
clipped off part of the buffalo's coat. The fur near the skin was
growing in jet black.
Chance was buried next to Miracle. It is expected his grave will be
visited by many people, including those who now consider the Heiders'
farm as "sacred" grounds.
Four other buffalo, including two calves, were also killed during
the storm and buried in a separate area. Heider thinks the same
lightening strike killed all five.