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Strange buffalo exhibit unveiled

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services

Fort Smith (Jan 10/05) - A permanent exhibit of a highly unusual buffalo was unveiled Dec. 19 at Fort Smith Town Hall.

The buffalo, which was shot about 30km outside of town in the summer of 2000, has patches of white on its stomach, nose, shins, hooves, and the tip of its tail.

It was shot by hunter Brad Laviolette.

"I'm really happy to see it finally displayed," he says. "I've been waiting over four years."

The display was dedicated to his late grandfather Frank Laviolette, who worked for many years to help preserve the bison herd of Wood Buffalo National Park.

Mayor Peter Martselos is also pleased to have the buffalo displayed at the town hall.

Martselos noted that Frank, his father-in-law, loved buffalos.

"He would be proud," the mayor said.

Martselos added a white buffalo has special cultural and spiritual significance to aboriginal people and he hopes it will bring luck to the town's residents and visitors.