Lake County authorities are doing the right thing by trying to humanely confine the bison that loves open spaces and has been on the loose since fleeing last September.
Although the bison has stayed out of trouble and away from people and pets at the time of this writing, no one wants a tragic end to this story as more and more people start enjoying the full air in summer. We think of people in the western states who close in for a better shot until a bison feels threatened and charges.
After our long period of COVID-19 isolation, we vicariously enjoyed the idea of a loose animal weighing 1,300 pounds going on the loose, escaping the ubiquitous confines of urban society and staking out its own territory.
But of course, this cannot last forever.
The bison, which escaped while being delivered to the milk and honey farm in Wauconda, was seen crossing roads and wandering through yards. At one time she lived in the Fox River Forest Preserve. As of last report, she had taken up residence in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. Officials want her brought in by Memorial Day.
The bison’s owner and the rangers tried to lure her into a barn, but with her heightened senses and intelligence, she fled before they could close the door. Tranquilizing her is considered too dangerous for her health. We’d hate to see someone decide it’s time to shoot them.
Catching a bison is not an easy task. They can run up to 35 miles per hour, jump six feet high, and swim. They have lived on the prairies of Illinois for centuries, so the northern Illinois climate is not a challenge for them.
We hope the buffalo hunt ends well, both for her and for Lake County residents and visitors. During this time, she will enter the lore of Chicago wildlife, along with Chance the Snapper and other animals who have unexpectedly and independently chosen their own addresses, at least for a time.
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