(HELENA) One of the 20th century’s great conservation stories is the restoration of the American bison.

The national icon was hunted to newer extinction by 1886.

Montana Historical Society Communication’s Director Tom Cook said he had been sent out here because the Smithsonian realized that the last free ranging buffalo in the United States were rapidly becoming extinct.

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Eventually, they took 24 Buffalo, and that was virtually the last of the free ranging buffalo in Montana.

For many, many people in the east, it was their first look, and they heard about the giant buffalo herds, the animals themselves, but most individuals in the East had never seen a buffalo and didn’t t realize what it was.

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