The American Buffalo

This film will be the biography of the continent’s most magnificent species, an improbable, shaggy beast that has found itself at the center of many of our nation’s most thrilling, mythic, and heartbreaking tales. In the startling swiftness of its near-disappearance at the end of the 19th century—when the last of the great herds were wantonly slaughtered and an animal that for centuries had awed people by the incomprehensible magnitude of its numbers was suddenly reduced to a few hundred remnants—Americans were forced to confront the uncomfortable fact that they were capable of exterminating another species.

But if the story of the buffalo represents one of the most dramatic demonstrations of our ability to destroy the natural world, it also provides compelling proof that we are equally capable of pulling a species back from the precipice of extinction. The story of the buffalo’s demise and resurgence—never before told on television—is dramatic, riveting, and full of unforgettable characters.