A 1,300-pound bison that escaped from a Wauconda farm late last year was safely and humanely removed early Wednesday morning from Lakewood Forest Preserve in Wauconda. Officials believe it settled at Lakewood in early April.
For the past several days, Lake County Forest Preserve officials worked with a professional livestock specialist from Illinois to capture the bison. “We are thankful the animal has been removed from the forest preserve safely before Memorial Day weekend when attendance at preserves increases,” said Mike Tully, chief operations officer for the Lake County Forest Preserves. “The safety of our users and the animal has been our No. 1 priority throughout this process. Bison are considered domestic livestock in Illinois, therefore roaming free in a public forest preserve is not an appropriate place for it to call home.”
On Friday, May 20, Matt Noble, owner of Loose Cattle Caught, was brought in to assist in humanely capturing the bison. He utilized a crew of specialists, a drone, horse and dog in attempt to locate the bison. She was located early this morning and Noble lightly tranquilized the animal. The tranquilizer did not put her in danger or make her fall to the ground. Its purpose was to slow her down. The bison slowly made its way to the barn for food and Noble was able to close the door.
He backed his trailer into the barn and was able to relocate the bison to his compound where the animal is healthy and under observation, Tully said. Noble is in the process of contacting the owner of the bison.