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Theodore Roosevelt Tour of the Museum: American Bison and Pronghorn Antelope Diorama

On Exhibit posts

The restored Theodore Roosevelt Memorial is now open, and a new self-guided tour—available as part of the Museum's Explorer app, or on our website—highlights exhibits and places around the Museum with a connection to TR, who was President from 1901 to 1909. In this post, the seventh in a series, we visit the American bison and pronghorn diorama, in the renovated Jill and Lewis Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals

Bison diorama model (1939)

Paul Wright works on a sketch model of the American bison and pronghorn diorama. (1939)

© AMNH Library

Some of the animals depicted in the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals thrive today because of Theodore Roosevelt’s efforts. Bison, for example, once numbered in the tens of millions in North America but, slaughtered for their meat and hides, the population was down to about 1,000 animals by the 1880s.


As president, Roosevelt, who had witnessed the decline firsthand while living as a rancher in what is now North Dakota, created two big game preserves to save the buffalo from extinction: Montana’s National Bison Range and Oklahoma’s Wichita Game Preserve, where, in 1907, 15 bison bred at New York’s Bronx Zoo were released with a view to eventually repopulating the prairie. This and subsequent efforts brought the bison back from the brink of extinction.

Watch a video about Theodore Roosevelt and these conservation efforts.

Download the self-guided TR tour as part of the Museum's Explorer app, or on our website.


American Museum of Natural History

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New York, NY 10024-5192
Phone: 212-769-5100

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except on Thanksgiving and Christmas
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