Monday morning, Sept. 12, 19 bison escaped from David Halverson’s ranch south of Montevideo at  around 8 a.m by breaking through a fence.


Monday morning, Sept. 12, 19 bison escaped from David Halverson’s ranch south of Montevideo at  around 8 a.m by breaking through a fence.

Eleven of the bison were rounded up and returned to the ranch, and it wasn’t until Thursday, Sept. 15, that the bison were seen again.

Early that morning, at 4:25 a.m., a bison wandered onto Highway 212, and was hit by a vehicle crossing the bridge on the west side of Montevideo. There were no injuries to the driver and, despite damages the owner was able to drive the vehicle home.

The bison reportedly wandered onto the dike after the incident, bleeding and injured.

The following morning, blood was found along the dike south of Highway 212. Around noon, Halverson and a city employee tracked the injured buffalo to the ditch south of the dike, where it was shot.

Shortly after, Monte­video Police shot a second bison that had been following the previous one in a field east of the ditch.

“While the last thing any officer wants to do is shoot something, we also have to think about public safety,”?said Police Chief Adam Christopher. “Any time a wild animal wanders into town, we’re going to act accordingly.”

He explained that the field the bison was shot in had a safe backdrop where the officer did not have to be concerned about a home or civilians wandering through, and that the decision was made to shoot the animal there before it wandered into town.

“There had already been one accident,”?Christ­opher said. “And, quite frankly, I don’t know how we would have handled it if it had gotten into the Country Kitchen area. The animal was spooked and we don’t want to play the odds.”

The location of the bison, near the dike, had already put them within the city limits, within a block of residential property, and business properties a few blocks further.

Six bison are still at large as of early this week.