Bison still on the loose in Schoharie County

Posted at: 08/22/2013 6:41 PM
Updated at: 08/22/2013 6:42 PM
By: Steve Flamisch

RICHMONDVILLE -- Eleven bison that escaped from their pen Monday at the Grumpy Buffalo Farm were still roaming free late Thursday, but their owner had a plan in place to capture them within 24 hours.

Tim Hines told NewsChannel 13 the animals were grazing on private property about a half-mile west of his Harroway Rd. farm. Hines and his workers were planning to move in Friday, with an expert and a veterinarian on hand.

"Plan A" is to round up the bison and herd them into trailers, Hines said. If that fails, "Plan B" is to use a tranquilizer.

Though most of the escaped bison weigh more than 1,000 pounds each, Schoharie County Sheriff Tony Desmond said they do not pose a threat to public safety.

"There are houses up in these hills where the farm is located," Desmond said, "but I don't think (the bison) would be coming to a very populated area."

Richmondville Board Member Paul Maurice advised people to stay away from the immediate area until the animals are captured, warning they could stampede if startled.

"They are wild animals," Maurice said. "They are not like a cow that you can walk up to. They get very spooked very easily, and they could trample or hurt somebody."

In a small community like Richmondville, the escaped bison are the talk of the town.

"Nothing like this every happens around here," Stefanie Bernier said. "It's funny but it’s scary at the same time. You don't want to see an animal as big as a truck coming at you."

The bison are raised for breeding and consumption. The farm sells the meat to co-ops, restaurants, and on its website for $9.00 per pound.