HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A white bison calf born two months ago will be staying put at its western Connecticut farm, which has become a destination for Native Americans and tourists eager for a glimpse of the rare animal.
The calf's owner, Peter Fay, said it will live out its life at his Mohawk Bison farm in Goshen and will not be butchered like other bulls. He said in an interview that he received offers to send the animal elsewhere, but they were not seriously considered.
"I think I can probably do the best with him," he said. "There's a reason why he's here."
White bison, which are extremely rare, are revered by many Native Americans as symbols of hope and unity. Lakota tribe members from South Dakota were among the hundreds who turned out last month for a ceremony at the farm, where the calf was named Yellow Medicine Dancing Boy.
The calf was born on June 16. Fay, who has about 20 bison at his farm, said he is still receiving visitors and about 25 calls a day about the animal. Earlier this month, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy visited the farm on a trip highlighting tourism destinations in northwestern Connecticut.
A man driving from Maine to Florida told the staff at the New Goshenette restaurant that he had stopped in town Tuesday for a look at the bison calf.
The restaurant's owner, Patty Anstett, said the calf has been good for business. While the animal has not caused a huge stir in the rural farming town, it is the top conversation topic among visitors.
"We keep getting people here asking how to get there and where to go," she said.
Garth Dougherty, a cook at AJ's Steak & Pizza in Goshen, said he had gone to see the bison himself.
"It's a pretty cool thing," he said.
Bison have a life expectancy of about 20 to 25 years, and Fay said some show more of a mean streak as they age. He said he hopes the white bull can be used for breeding.
"Hopefully he's a good bull," Fay said.