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Brunswick County bison calf is found, returned to owner

Bison on the loose in Brunswick County's Ash community captured and returned to owner
Bison on the loose in Brunswick County's Ash community captured and returned to owner(Brunswick County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 10:25 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 15, 2021 at 5:30 PM EDT
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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - After reportedly being on the loose, a bison calf seen in Brunswick County has been returned to its owner, officials say.

The owner of the bison calf, Richard Humphreys said he bought the calf over the weekend, and brought her home earlier this week. “Thursday morning the calf decided that she didn’t want to stay anymore, went through 5 foot of water and jumped the fence and was wandering around about half a mile from the house.”

The bison calf was spotted by neighbors in the Ash community on Thursday and Friday.

“I called animal control and as I was on the phone with them, somebody called in and said they saw it at the elementary school, Jessie Mae [Monroe] Elementary [School], so I went down there really quick and it went into the woods,” Humphreys said. “I was very nervous. I used to be an animal control officer, and I know a lot can happen; they can get in the roadway, people freak out, they don’t know what it is.”

Although seeing a bison roaming around might freak people out, Humpreys said they’re pretty harmless, “just like a cow, they don’t really have a mean bone.”

Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School is about half of a mile away from Humphreys property.

“Finally, today they tranquilized it and we got it back home. It’s currently sleeping, I got it in the shade, should be up in another hour or so and back to normal life. Hopefully staying in the fence,” Humphreys said. “The animal control staff in Brunswick County is amazing. They went over and beyond; everybody was here at one point. They’ve been in the woods helping me to wrangle this thing.”

Humphreys lives on about five acres with dozens of other animals including miniature cows, goats, chickens, and of course, bison. “I’ve liked animals since I was a little kid, and as an adult I have the money to have the land. I have five acres plus I lease some land . . . I just always wanted the animals, want my kids to be interested in the animals. So, I invite people here all the time to be around the goats, the turkeys, all the cows, I have miniature cows too,” Humphreys said.

When asked if he would consider his property a farm, he said it’s more of an expensive hobby. “I like to throw my money at all of my animals, keep them happy. It keeps me happy, I come home from work and sit out here by the koi pond and just watch all of the animals.”

Prior to being found, this image was sent to WECT of the bison:

Brunswick County officials are searching for a buffalo reportedly on the loose near Ash
Brunswick County officials are searching for a buffalo reportedly on the loose near Ash(Lydia Schwake)

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