Bison are said to have been introduced to Santa Catalina in 1925 for the making of the film, The Vanishing American, starring Richard Dix. Accounts vary (from 14 to 24 animals) as to the numbers of animals left on the island.
In the News~
August 19, 1977 [LAT]: “Catalina: Where buffalo and the sightseers roam… Fearsome-looking but shy buffalo roam freely… The buffalo, about 400, are descendants of a group of 14 brought to Catalina for the shooting of a 1925 film, The Vanishing American.”
September 1, 2007 [Lawrence Journal World]: “California — A backpacker fell prey to one of Southern California's lesser-known hazards: being gored by an American bison on Santa Catalina Island. Jardrec Anangos was recovering from a fractured pelvic bone, a sore back and an open wound after he was attacked Wednesday by one of the descendants of a bison herd brought over to film a silent movie in the 1920s. "All I can say is I'm happy to be alive," he said. The bison "didn't like me standing that close and charged me," he said.”