Sounds like the start of a bad joke, right? Well, apparently 15 buffalo, escaped from a farm, crossed a New York State Thruway and got shot and killed for their trouble.
Authorities in Coeymans, NY say three men were hired by the farm and were cleared to open fire Friday afternoon to shoot the buffalo in a stream in the woods near the town of Coeymans, about ten miles south of the capital. They were deemed to be a danger after they crossed the Thruway.
According to CBS affiliate WRGB, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office nor the Bethlehem Police Department were involved in the shooting. The decision to put the animals down was made after experts agreed that tranquilizers would not be effective and there were no portable corrals sufficiently strong to hold the animals.
“I just couldn’t believe it, I was absolutely amazed,” said one driver who had to pull over when he saw the herd.
The Times Union reported that one of the men hired to shoot the animals appeared to have a heated exchange with Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, who said he was concerned about the safety of people in the area. The man was taken into custody and later released, the Times Union reported.
The animals escaped from the farm across the Hudson River in the town of Shodack in Rensselaer County. The owner thinks they swam across the river to the town of Bethlehem and then crossed busy Interstate 87 and proceeded to Coeymans.
“The buffalo are wild animals, they’re not tame animals,” farm owner George Mesic told the Times Union.
CBS affiliate WRGB reports that the animals can move as fast as 40 miles per hour.