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Buffalo spooked, escape: Four break free of corral, killed near Dickinson

Nobody was injured when four buffalo escaped Thursday morning, except the buffalo, according to the Stark County Sheriff's Office.

Det. Terry Oestreich said since the buffalo were close to Dickinson, it would have been more dangerous to try rounding them up alive.

"They were just too worked up and that was the safest way," he said. "We didn't want them getting into town."

Mick Riesinger, one of the owners of the buffalo, was planning to take the buffalo to market in South Dakota, but they apparently had other plans.

"All told, they went through three gates and eight fences," Riesinger said. They broke down the corral. We had them contained in a pasture and they spooked and from there they went."

Riesinger, the other owner, Oestreich, Deputy Daniel Kensinger, Dickinson Police officers, neighbors and friends all worked to get the situation under control, Riesinger and Oestreich said.

All four were shot and killed, Oestreich said.

"The meat is being processed and basically it'll be sold or we'll probably use it amongst the families that helped us in the venture," Riesinger said.

The buffalo, which were about a mile out of town, weigh between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds, Oestreich said.

"They were pretty close to that east industrial area," he said. "We got them stopped before they did cause any significant damage."

Riesinger said the damaged fencing on his property is being fixed.

"These buffalo had been in that corral for three years," he said. "They just got spooked, and that happens."

He is happy nobody was hurt and was thankful for everybody who helped.

"Any animal producer is always concerned about taking good care of their livestock whether it's a cow, a horse or a buffalo and these were well taken care of," Riesinger said. "And these are just parts of the risks of owning animals."

The incident isn't the first time Oestreich has been called to stop buffalo on the loose. He responded to a similar incident in 2005 or 2006, he said.

"Then it was only one and he got out of the area and was safely taken care of," Oestreich said.