Miracle's a mom!
Famed buffalo gives birth to first calf

Beloit Daily News

May 28, 1998

By Debra Jensen-De Hart
Beloit Daily News staff writer


Babies come into the world when they will.

So it was on the Dave and Valerie Heider farm about 12:55 p.m. Wednesday. Heider said he checked on the mother that morning but figured she wouldn't give birth for another couple weeks.

A truck driver for the Rock County Highway Department, Heider said he was surprised when an employee told him late in the morning to phone home.

``He said call your wife, Miracle is about to give birth.''

Miracle, the buffalo who made the Heider farm famous in August of 1994 by coming into the world as a white calf, fulfilling a Native American prophesy, gave birth to her first calf.

The calf is mostly reddish in color with some gray on its under belly and sides, Heider pointed out.

Both Miracle, now a blond, and her 35-40 pound female calf were doing well in the early afternoon hours Wednesday, as they stood together in a large fenced off area on the farm.

Val Heider named the new arrival ``Millennium'' because in two years when the new century arrives, Millennium will come of age for breeding, she said.

Sitting outside Miracle's fence, under the shade of a clump of trees on the warm afternoon, Heider family members watched quietly as Miracle and Millennium stayed very near each other nuzzling and bonding.

``The poor calf has a famous mom and she doesn't even know it,'' Val Heider said.

And four years later, people still visit the farm to see the famous white buffalo who has now turned many colors.

According to Native American folk lore, a white buffalo would unite humanity. The buffalo would turn black, red and yellow _ the colors of the people of the world.

Miracle completed those color changes in 11 months. The buffalo is predicted to again turn white when there is peace in the world.

And since her birth, thousands have traveled to the farm to visit, changing the Heiders' lives and expanding their connections to the world.

``I thought after three or four months, it would all die down,'' he said. But on Memorial Day weekend, nearly four years after her birth, more than 2000 people visited, Dave Heider said. The couple also has set up a web page site that receives many daily inquiries, he said.

Even on Wednesday, before the news of Millennium was barely public, visitors from Gilbertsville, Pa., had seen her.

Donna and Merrill Rotz, vacationing in the area had stopped in Janesville to tour the General Motors plant, but had arrived too late. So they decided to see another attraction.

They arrived only an hour after the calf's birth, not knowing the special event had just occurred.

``The baby was just born,'' Donna Rotz pointed out to a visitor. Of their experience at the Heiders, she said, ``the people are so nice here - just like family.''
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