Officials "fear the worst" for buffalo calf
By Julia Green
In week three of the buffalo hunt taking place in and around Delaware County, the calf that had been making semi-regular appearances in the Bull Run Valley appears to be laying low, though there are unconfirmed rumors that she has been spotted in the New Kingston area.
There are also rumors that the calf has been corralled by an individual not affiliated with law enforcement officials, a violation of the Cruelty to Animals section of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law. The relevant section of the law states that a police officer or similar official must be the one to take custody of the animal.
“The calf seems to have disappeared,” said Colleen Segarra, director of Equine Rescue Resource in Pine Bush “And you know how rumor mills are, so everybody thinks somebody has holed it up or killed it, but it could just be that the people who were so aggressively pursuing it scared it out of the area.”
Segarra added that contact has been made with a veterinarian affiliated with Cornell University who has experience with buffalo, who has agreed to consult with a local veterinarian by phone and discuss how to properly sedate the animal.
“We’re getting the best information available for the animal,” Segarra said. “It needs to be handled by the proper people. We don’t want people getting hurt, and we don’t want the animal being cruelly treated, either.”
She said that no recent sightings of the calf or any other buffalo have been confirmed.
“We’re all kind of on standby right now,” she said. “We just have to wait until somebody can give us a good report with a good location.”
“We fear the worst,” said Denise Norris, an Andes-based volunteer with the group. “I haven’t heard anything about Andes; it’s just been dead silent suddenly. That’s what concerns me – the calf was everyplace until Saturday. The town is pretty upset.”
She said that there was an unconfirmed sighting between New Kingston and Roxbury, but that officials have been unable to validate the report.
Segarra reiterated that in the case that the calf or any of the buffalo is sighted, it should not be approached or chased.
“Just call the state police and we’ll take it from there,” she said. “We’ll call [Don] Tweedie up, and the veterinarian up there was supposed to be working with the vet from Cornell on the drugs and the dosages.
“We’re just kind of playing middle man, trying to keep the right people involved and the wrong people from causing harm to them.”
Ownership of the buffalo, that are believed strayed from a Bloomville-area farm back in April, has yet to be determined.