Jackson County water buffalo captured, quarantined
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Mildred McEntire's Jackson County farm is no longer a home where the buffalo roam.
Buddy Davidson, state Department of Agriculture spokesman, said the two water buffalo that have made headlines in recent weeks were moved Wednesday into quarantine at a "secure location."
The two animals -- a mother and nearly adult-sized calf -- had been sighted repeatedly in the community of Evans for months before the state took action. McEntire, 93, told the Daily Mail she has been able to continually shoo them off her property, despite their massive size.
Water buffalo, which are native to Asia, can weigh up to a ton, stand five or six feet tall and bear horns as long as five feet.
The Department of Agriculture officially began looking into the matter late last month.
Davidson wouldn't say they "captured" the animals, but instead used a tried and tested maneuver.
"We kind of lured them into a spot with food," Davidson said with a laugh. "There had been a shed nearby in the area where they'd been spotted, so we started putting food in that shed. It worked and we got them out of there."
The two were hauled away to the holding site Wednesday.
He said the calf was only slightly smaller than the mother.
Officials believe the animals came from a defunct farm. Residents in the area previously told the Daily Mail the animals were left behind from a local game farm that closed last year.
Davidson said the animals were doing well and were in quarantine as a precaution.
Plans for the two still were up in the air Wednesday. The buffalo had to be screened by a veterinarian before any decisions could be made for their future, he said.
"We're waiting on tests to come back, but at this point we're trying to keep them as calm as possible," Davidson said. "We've got maternal instincts to be aware of as well in this."
He said veterinary staff would soon have to perform a tuberculosis test on the animals. Doing so requires them to work in close proximity with the two.
Davidson said things with the animals were proceeding as planned.
"It's definitely strange and not something we see every day," he said.
He said more information was expected to be released on the animals in the coming weeks.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at email@example.com or 304-348-4850.