Chicago, IL

'Tyson the Bison' roamed a Chicago suburban forest preserve for 8 months

Jennifer Geer

The American buffalo that escaped her farm and wandered through a northern suburban forest preserve for months was safely captured last week.

(CHICAGO) Officials from the Lake County Forest Preserve announced on Wednesday, May 25th, that the wayward 1,300-pound bison "was safely and humanely removed."

It's hard to believe a 1,300-pound creature could elude capture in the Chicago suburbs for nearly a year, but that is just what this female American buffalo from Wauconda’s Milk and Honey Farmstead did.

She was given the nickname "Tyson the Bison," or sometimes "Billy the Bison," after escaping from her trailer in September of 2021.

Tyson has been wandering around the Chicago suburbs since September

Since her escape, she was spotted hundreds of times in the area near Lakewood, according to the Daily Herald. Her owner, Scott Comstock, has been trying to get her back to her home on the farm for months.

According to the Herald, there were several close captures during the past eight months. She was very nearly lured into a barn several times. But Tyson was too alert and too fast. She always ran away before anyone could shut the door behind her.

And finally, on Friday, May 20th, Tyson was safely captured

According to a press release from officials at the Lake County Forest Preserve, "We are thankful the animal has been removed from the forest preserve safely before Memorial Day weekend when attendance at preserves increases," said Mike Tully, chief operations officer. "The safety of our users and the animal has been our No. 1 priority throughout this process. Bison are considered domestic livestock in Illinois, therefore roaming free in a public forest preserve is not an appropriate place for it to call home."

How did they safely capture the bison?

According to officials, Matt Noble, owner of Loose Cattle Caught, was asked to assist in her capture. He brought in various specialists to help find her, including a drone, a horse, and a dog.

Once found, Noble lightly tranquilized her. Not enough for her to lose consciousness, but just enough to make her react more slowly. Tyson then walked into a barn lured by food, where Noble managed to close the door behind her.

About the Milke and Honey Farmstead

The Milk and Honey Farmstead is a suburban farm located north of Chicago. According to its Facebook page, the farm specializes in "grass-fed beef, pastured pork, pastured poultry and eggs, and natural lifestyle products."


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Jennifer covers lifestyle content and local news for the Chicago area. New articles published each weekday.

Chicago, IL

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