Sask. ranchers 'devastated' after 52 bison escape after fence cut
SASKATOON -- A family near Dalmeny has spent the week searching for their 52 bison that escaped after they say someone cut one of their fences sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
“When I came here, they were all gone. Like long gone,” said Mark Pastoor, a bison rancher.
Pastoor and his wife, Diane, have been searching for their livestock over the last couple days and said they’ve been getting constant calls from people who’ve spotted them.
“We found 30 of the animals two-and-a-half miles from here and then we found nine animals about a mile-and-a-half from here,” Pastoor said.
He said they’ve spent a lot of time, effort and fuel on trying to locate their animals.
While they expect this will make a dent in their bottom line, they said they’re more worried about the animals’ safety.
“It’s devastating to know that they’re out there and we don’t know what their conditions are like. There are pregnant mamas out there and there’s moms with babies. So, it’s tough knowing that they’re out there and they’re separated from each other,” Diane said.
So far, the Pastoors said almost all of the bison have been found. Two have died and one bull remained at large.
As of Friday, 14 bison are at their farm and the others are staying at a friend’s farm.
The Pastoors are slowly transporting the bison back to their property, but said it could take up to two weeks as they are “spooked.”
“It’s just a matter of time before he can regain their trust and get back in there,” Diane said.
The RCMP said it is investigating the incident as a crime of mischief.
The Pastoors said they don’t know who could’ve done this.
“It’s a bit disappointing that there’s people like that out there and that they live among us,” Diane said.
Pastoor said, “if they would just think for two seconds before what they did, the impact it would have on the animals.”
The Pastoors said the next step for them is to install high voltage fences and increase their security system — which they said will cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars.