Where the buffalo roam | TheUnion.com

Where the buffalo roam

Nevada County isn’t normally known as a home where the buffalo roam.

But two were still on the lam Monday after first being sighted Saturday morning by bemused residents of Alta Sierra Ranches.

A buffalo cow and her calf, accompanied by a guard donkey, escaped from their enclosure on Dog Bar Road Saturday and were spotted on Tiger Tail and Buck Ridge roads. The donkey was recaptured.

Owner Gary Dugger said he had owned buffaloes for six years and never had any trouble with them.

But two weeks ago, his bull died from parasites, he said.

“The cow started going crazy. She got goofy,” Dugger said. “She started tearing things up, busting stuff. She eventually tore through the back fence – I assume, looking for the bull.”

The cow took off with her year-old calf, and the pair was noticed to be missing Saturday.

“About 9 in the morning, I got a call from my neighbor asking me if I’d looked out the window recently,” said Stuart Gold, who lives in the 19000 block of Buck Ridge Road.

When Gold’s neighbor told him about his large visitors, “I asked him if he’d been drinking,” he laughed.

“I tried to approach them, but they were skittish, to say the least,” Gold said. “They were happy to be out. Anytime I approached, they would run off.”

According to Dugger, the two buffalo were last spotted Monday morning at a pond on Wolf Creek Road. He went to look for them, but they already had moved on into thick woodland.

“We’ve had her cornered, but she’s going to have to be sedated or shot,” he said. “You can’t get near her. She’s gone wild, and the baby’s just following her.”

It’s almost impossible to lasso an animal of that size, Dugger said, adding he has hired a cattle rancher to help capture her.

“Everybody’s looking for them,” Dugger said.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, e-mail lkellar@theunion.com or call 477-4229.

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