The search for an escaped 2,000-pound water buffalo came to an end in a Westminster driveway on Sunday afternoon.
The 4-year-old, named “Bear” reportedly flew the coop sometime Saturday night after the first day of the Farm Fresh Fest at Wachusett Mountain. His “whereabouts were unknown,” police posted on Facebook Sunday morning.
Bear the water buffalo had apparently trotted up the side of the road to a home about a mile away, police told Metro. A neighbor called in the tip, then officers corralled the gentle beast into a trailer and hauled it back home without incident, police said.
Westminster Patrolman Jason Tamulen wrangled the water buffalo on nearby West Princeton Road and kept him occupied with a bucket of feed until its owner took him home, he told Metro.
For a cop in Westminster, an area packed with farms, it was all in a day’s work, he said.
“That’s just the way it falls sometimes,” Tamulen told Metro. “Most of us at some point end up having to corral animals.”
Bear, Tamulen said, apparently barged his way out of his pen, snapping a rope that kept a gate closed. It’s unclear why, but when police found him, the animal had porcupine quills in his nose, he said. A painful encounter with the critter might have agitated the beast, he said.
Tamulen said officers were happy the animal, which came from a farm in Berlin, could go home “safe and sound.”
“Good job officer Tamulen!” the Westminster Police Department posted on Facebook Sunday afternoon. “Your cowboy skills were very useful today securing the water buffalo!!”
Tamulen declined to comment when Metro asked about the “cowboy skills.” His mother-in-law wrote that, he said.