Arundel police and DNR continue buffalo hunt

January 01, 1993|By Angela Gambill | Angela Gambill,Staff Writer

Anne Arundel County police and state Department of Natural Resources officials continued their hunt for two escaped baby ,, bison yesterday.

Using a heat sensor that located the animals by honing in on their bulk, searchers had managed by 3 p.m. to separate the two buffalo, leaving the pair about half a mile apart.

Officials were hoping to get close enough to the animals to tranquilize them.

The buffalo escaped from their new home in southern Anne Arundel County Monday, immediately after being unloaded from a truck by their new owners, Ricky and Tammy Owens.

The pair had been bought from a breeder in New York to be company for the Owens' pet male buffalo, Big Boy.

Discouraged by their experiences of the past few days, Mrs. Owen said she and her husband plan to sell the baby bison when they're recovered, but hope to keep the remaining adult male bison.

"We don't want to sell Big Boy," she said. "He's our pet, like one of the family."

She also reiterated that residents shouldn't panic if the animals are not immediately caught.

The babies, about 5 months old, will not bother cattle or horses, she said.

"They're timid. We don't want people to be afraid of them or chase after them. The only danger is if they hit a car."

Mrs. Owens said she's angry the county did not respond sooner and help the Owens recover the animals. They escaped about noon Monday and left the farm about 2 p.m., she said.

The Owens said they called county police, the DNR and the game warden immediately, but were told no one could help them.

"We didn't get any help for two days, until my husband called [County Executive] Bobby Neall Tuesday night," she said.

Then, officials who had told the Owens no tranquilizer guns were available suddenly changed their minds, Mrs. Owens said.

"Now it's turned into a circus. It's out of control. If they'd helped us before the animals ran 15 miles, we'd have them back by now," she said.

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