Charlie was weaned at seven months old. A few days later, he was
placed in a corral with two female bison calves to begin his
education as a bison. Veryl
and Roger never intended to keep Charlie, but fate dealt a hand that made
Charlie one of the best known and loved bison that has ever lived.
Charlie got frightened on his first night and ran head on into
the steel corral, paralyzing all four legs. He spent a month
in a sling at Colorado
until the inflamed spinal cord in his neck healed enough for him to learn
to walk again. While he made significant recovery, Charlie’s ability
to move normally was permanently impaired and he could no longer be part
began hiking with Charlie to help rehabilitate his loving and fast growing
Charlie never missed his life as a bison. Nothing made him happier than being
with Roger or greeting the hundreds of people that came to visit him. Charlie
became more than a neighborhood icon. For over three years he was an ambassador
for his species.
Ultimately Charlie’s weakened neck contributed to his premature death.
One day Roger found him cast on his side, struggling to rise. It took the volunteer
fire department to get the now 2,000 pound bull back on his feet. Ruminant’s
lungs can fill with fluids when they are down for a length of time. Charlie
contracted pneumonia and in spite of heroic efforts, he died on August 10,
Charlie’s memory lives on in bronze. He is also the inspiration for
a full-length book. A BUFFALO IN THE HOUSE, The True Story of a Man, His Buffalo
by Richard Rosen. The book was published in 2007 and can be purchased from Goodnight Trail Gallery of Western Art.