top of page

William T. Hornaday 


In 1882, William Hornaday was appointed the Chief Taxidermist for the United States National Museum at the Smithsonian Institue.  After a trip to Montana in 1889, Hornaday was horrified at the demise of the large herds of buffalo that he had seen years earlier. He wrote letters from the field  to encourage the preservation of the buffalo and stated:

...seems necessary for us to assume the responsibility of forming and preserving a herd of live buffaloes which may, in a small measure, atone for the national disgrace that attaches to the heartless and senseless extermination of the species in a wild state.

Hornaday made extraordinary efforts to preserve the bison and began modern wildlife conservation thinking.  The herd that he developed at the Bronx Zoo provided the first group of Bison to be reintroduced in the wild on America's first wild game preserve. 

bottom of page