When were the American bison almost wiped out?

American bison - were near to extinction by 1900, although they numbered more than 60 million when the white man first arrived in their feeding grounds. Buffalo, as the bison were commonly called, were the prime essential of the Plains Indian's economy. The powerful animal's meat, bones, and hide provided by the Indians by food, medicine, clothing and shelter. At first the white man, too, killed the buffalo for meat and hides. But after 1850, as the American-Indian war neared its climax, United States soldiers began to slaughter the animals discriminately to force the Indians to leave their homeland. With the advent of the railroad the killing of bison became a sport. Travelers would shoot from railroad carriages, leaving to carcases to lot by the tracks. In less than 50 years about 50 million buffalo had been exterminated. The voices of those who wished to save the animal from extinction were heeded just in time. From the few survivors, new herds were reared. Today the buffalo increasing in numbers, with herds totalling several thousand.

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