Farmers 'devastated and heartbroken' after fence cut and 52 bison escape

A family that farms near Dalmeny, Sask., has spent the last two days trying to bring home 52 bison that escaped after someone cut a fence sometime between Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

Farmer Diane Pastoor posted to Facebook shortly after midnight on June 30 about the harrowing experience, thanking friends and family for helping them.

She said the 52 bison on the farm included 12 calves and four bulls, and the rest were cows, some pregnant.

"Sometime between Saturday night and early Sunday morning, an animal killer came and trespassed on our property and clipped 13 wires of their fence," Pastoor wrote in the post.

Only seven animals — six cows and one calf — have made it back to the farm so far. Two animals have died and four adults and one calf are still missing, the post says.

 

Dalmeny police Const. Scott Splawinski previously told CBC he believed the animals may have died from exhaustion. 

Splawinski said he suspects the fence being cut was an act of vandalism but said the investigation will fall to the RCMP.

The Pastoors have also rounded up two groups of bison that are contained on nearby properties.

"Bison do not respond like regular cows, so herding and trailering them is a special feat only done by skilled bison farmers and special equipment," Pastoor wrote.

"Getting them back home will likely take weeks and a lot of special care and planning."

Missing bison are 'scared, exhausted, lost'

In her post, Pastoor said the bison are accustomed to the farm and the care they receive there.

"They are now scared, exhausted, lost and some are hurt," Pastoor wrote. "They have run through fences, farmers crops, and scared people as they are confused and are not safe in their home pasture."

Pastoor said her family is "devastated and heartbroken" and will continue working to bring the rest of the herd home.

Corman Park police Chief Warren Gherasim said there have been sightings of the remaining bison between Dalmeny and Osler, Sask.

Officials are warning the public to stay away from the bison if any of them are spotted as they can be dangerous.

Dalmeny is about 25 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.