CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Officials can add another item to the list of odd things sold off by the State Agency for Surplus Property: Water buffalo.
After a nearly seven-week quarantine by the state Department of Agriculture, the infamous pair of water buffalo that wandered free for months in the hills of eastern Jackson County will now have their fate decided by the state's surplus property broker.
Agriculture officials announced last week they planned to auction the animals to the highest bidder.
That auction is now online. Bidding closes at 4 p.m. Thursday.
The highest bid as of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday: $224.50.
Water buffalo are large, horned bovines native to the highlands of Southeast Asia. They typically weigh about a ton, stand 5 to 6 feet tall and bear horns that can grow as long as 5 feet.
The auction site lists the mother as 5 to 6 years old and weighing about 1,100 pounds. Her bull calf is believed to be 6 to 9 months old and weigh about 375 pounds.
Officials believe the two were left behind by a local game farm that closed last year.
After escaping the farm's confines, the animals made their home on the edge of 93-year-old homemaker Mildred McEntire's property along Donohue Road in Evans.