4 May 2022

'Very rare occurrence': bison that vanished from Snowy Mountains sparks police investigation

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Australian Policeman's uniformed shoulder

Four rare bison have disappeared from a Tumut property. Photo: Supplied.

In what police have called “a very rare occurrence”, they are investigating the disappearance of a number of bison from the Snowy Mountains foothills.

NSW Police said four weaner bison steers vanished from a property near the Tumut River at Tumut between 20 and 26 April 2022.

“More at home in the grassland plains of America and Canada, the bison are an imposing figure on the Australian landscape and very much stand out,” police said.

The four are not on neighbouring properties and police are considering the possibility they have been stolen.

“The unique appearance of bison is unmistakable, and due to the very low numbers of bison in Australia, we are of the opinion the bison would have reported by now if they had escaped their home property and were wandering,” the Rural Crime Prevention Team’s South West Zone coordinator Detective Sergeant Damian Nott said.

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Police want to know of any bison sightings but have also released a warning for any would-be spotters.

“Despite bison being an amazing animal in appearance, it should be known bison can move as fast as horses (around 60 km/h), are agile and can be extremely aggressive and unpredictable,” Detective Sergeant Nott said.

Police said in the unlikely event bison are seen uncontained, their location should be reported to authorities – such as police, Local Land Services or council – without approaching them.

If you have seen bison or can assist in this matter, contact the Rural Crime Prevention Team at Wagga Wagga on 6922 2561 or 0438 097 426 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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