It’s been seven weeks since “Buddy the Beefalo” made his escape from the loading dock of Plymouth Meats.
Since his escape from the slaughterhouse, Plymouth Police Capt. Ed Benecchi has led the effort to capture the 1,000-pound bull.
If Buddy is captured, he will retire to the Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary in sunny Florida.
About $8,500 has been donated on a GoFundMe page that will ensure Buddy spends the rest of his life with other rescued cattle and exotic creatures.
Buddy, Benecchi says, has earned his freedom.
Here are the latest developments in the pursuit of Buddy:
A beefalo is a cross between a bison and domestic cattle.
According to the American Beefalo Association, “Beefalo today is an advanced mix of domesticated cattle and 37.5 percent American Bison. This cross was chosen specifically as it has been show as the 'sweet spot' of the genetic pool, allowing all the best qualities of both animals to be present.”
It says, “Beefalo has been shown by USDA testing to possess superior vitamin levels, higher protein, nearly 1/3 less cholesterol, 79 percent less fat, and 66 percent less calories than conventional beef.”
He’s on an 800-acre property owned by the local water company.
Buddy has been staying in the same area, moving around in a circular pattern on trails.
He has survived in the woods “because beefalos will eat any kind of vegetation and food and water that is abundant” in the area, Benecchi said.
The first image of Buddy caught on camera was in mid-August.
On Aug. 31, Plymouth police and state environmental conservation officers attempted to track Buddy down in the woods.
A drone tracked him to a swamp, but officers were unable to catch Buddy.
The agile Buddy ran deeper into the woods.
The latest plan is the lure him into a cattle trailer stocked with all kinds of Beefalo goodies like grain, corn and hay.
There’s also a few pen rails that are moved closer to the trailer.
“It’s like fishing,” Benecchi says. “You’re trying to figure out when he’s going to get here, you have to have the right bait and you have to be patient. It’s a lot of trial and error.”
In the last few days, a rope system has been set up to close the gate and some new feed has been added. “Hopefully, he will be in custody by the end of the week,” Plymouth police posted in their Facebook page.
A ‘Stealth Cam’ has been set up near the trailer.
It shows Buddy awfully close to the trailer, but he hasn’t gone in.
Sometimes, it seems like Buddy is teasing us.
Last week, it seemed like Buddy was deciding whether to go inside.
Yes, but he’s not the only one enjoying these treats in the Plymouth woods.
“A few unexpected visitors ... the suspects in the video have been identified for stealing Buddy’s food,” police said
“It’s an underdog story. Everyone is rooting for Buddy. It would be so terrible if a hunter got him or if he got hit by a car. A lot of hard work has gone into this and we want to see Buddy live out his life. I am doing this truly out of the joy in my heart to try to help this animal. I want the story to end positively.”
Previous reporting by Kaitlyn Krasselt was used in this story.