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Bison Found at Lady Bird Wildflower Center

Photo by Joe Marcus, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
An American Bison was found at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on Saturday after it escaped from its owner 10 miles away.

An unusual visitor has wandered its way to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: a bison. The animal escaped last Wednesday when its owner was unloading it out of a cattle trailer. The Wildflower Center's senior director and botanist, Damon Waitt, says the American bison traveled ten miles to the center when gardeners noticed her.

“The buffalo owner hired a control officer who came out and darted her on Monday. Right after you dart them, you’re supposed to leave them alone and let the tranquilizer take effect," he said. "It took that opportunity to go deep in the brush on our site. And by the time he was relocated the tranquilizer had worn off, and we didn’t get another shot at him. ”

The buffalo hasn't been spotted since Monday, but a worker at the center says he heard it bellow this morning. The Wildflower Center will continue to keep an eye out for the bison.  For now, the hiking trails are closed.

The number of visitors coming to the center is down by 30 percent this year due to the hot weather. Waitt says their gardens are doing great despite the heat and the roaming buffalo.

“You know, we have foxes and deer and all sorts of birds but we never thought we’d get a buffalo so we’re pretty pumped up about it, ” Waitt told KUT News.

Someone even created a Twitter account for the bison. You can follow it here.