In the year 1800, 35 million buffalo roamed across the Great Plains of America. After nearly a century of senseless slaughter, only 700 of these majestic creatures remained. With the disastrous consequences becoming obvious, the beleaguered survivors were rounded up and placed, mercifully, within the protective confines of the world's first national park, Yellowstone.
At about the same time, Denver was building a series of mountain parks to offer citizens an escape from urban stress. In 1914, the city purchased two bulls and five cows from that extraordinary Wyoming herd and introduced them to the newly created Genesee Park located in the foothills just west of town.
Featured at the mountain park today are about 60 purebred descendants of those original seven. I shot this photograph of one of the Genesee Bison this past winter. It's inspiring to be able to observe, so close to home, such a rare and precious animal.