A Fond Farewell to Cody the Buffalo

Adopted by a rancher after his mother abandoned him, Cody the buffalo appeared in the Oscar-winning movie Dances with Wolves. He died of kidney failure Thursday at Money Creek Buffalo Ranch near Houston.

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This is Weekend Edition from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

SIMON: Cody died this week. He was a 19-year-old bison who was one of the few tamed, trained buffalo in this country. Cody entertained in schools and nursing homes all over the Midwestern Plain States.

He was rejected by his mother at birth in Cody, Wyoming. A local rancher name Mike Fogle took the calf home, fed him from a bottle and let him stay in his house. He trained Cody by rewarding him with Oreo cookies; the real ones, too; not any off brand imitators. Cody was appearing at the Minnesota State Fair when Lana Turner-style, he was seen by a Hollywood agent who was looking to cast a bison in a film. It turned out to be Dances With Wolves. Kevin Costner won an Oscar for the film and Cody went on to appear in other films and commercials. His fans knew to always to bring Oreos.

Cody was buried in Minnesota with a pack of Oreos. He's been special right since he was born, says Mike Fogle. He really changed my whole life. He was one of a kind.

Coming up, memories of a ride along the border between fear and bigotry. Stay tuned.

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