Alberta man’s unusual pet: a 1,600-pound bison

This photo, taken from a YouTube video, shows Bailey D. Buffalo, Jr. and its owner, Jim Sauntner. (Edmnton Journal video/YouTube)

When Jim Sautner, who lives near Spruce Grove, Alberta, moved into his new house, he had to establish new rules for the family pet: no coming inside.

The reason: his pet is a 1,600-pound bison.

Bailey Jr., named after Sautner's first pet bison, Bailey Sr., who died in 2008, used to come inside and watch TV and drink water out of the sink.

"Sometimes, he'd come into the bedroom; sometimes he'd jump in the bed and that didn't work out too well, generally," Sautner told NPR in 2011. "As he got bigger, he kept taking too many blankets, so we had to ask him to move outside."

Now the low-maintenance bison stays outdoors, eating hay and oats and grooming himself.

"All I do is I take an air hose from the garage and blow his coat off before we go in a parade or to a function of some sort," Sautner said of the minor effort it takes to get Bailey Jr. ready for public events.

"He's my best friend." Sautner told CBC News this weekend. "He's my buffalo."

Listen to Sautner's recent Trail's End interview on CBC here.

The odd couple even frequent the bar together.

"They are best of buddies and Jim's quite the buffalo whisperer," Sautner's wife, Linda, told QMI Agency in 2010.

"He really works well with animals and seems to have a special affinity for buffalo -- he reads them very carefully and understands them very well. He is very consistent in his training and he doesn't let them get away with anything, but he also is never harsh. He never strikes them."

Watch a short video of Sautney and Bailey Jr. from 2010 below:

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