Officials kill water buffalo on the loose in neighborhood near Moab

ST. GEORGE — Officials killed a water buffalo that was roaming through a neighborhood in Grand County near Moab Saturday after it damaged a neighbor’s property and injured a horse.

A wild water buffalo roams in Kaziranga National park, Assam, India, Dec. 17, 2015 | Photo by Dr. Raju Kasambe via Wikimedia Commons, St. George News

The water buffalo – an animal native to parts of Asia – had escaped from its owner’s corral, according to a Facebook post from Grand County Sheriff’s Office. Due to a lack of tranquilizing materials and concerns about public safety, the animal’s owner and sheriff’s deputies decided to kill the animal with several gunshots on Spanish Valley Drive near Beeman Road.

Before the buffalo was euthanized, it broke into a neighbor’s property and caused enough damage for a horse to escape, officials said. The horse was later found with “significant injuries” and appeared to be in shock.

“A local veterinarian was called in and, unfortunately, the decision was ultimately made for the horse to be euthanized,” officials wrote on Facebook.

The water buffalo was reported to be near several homes in the neighborhood and had come within 15 feet of several small children, according to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office.

After the water buffalo’s owner discussed options to contain the animal, the decision was ultimately made to euthanize it because of the danger to the public, officials said.

It’s not an animal you usually get to see everyday, so it was sad to see the situation turn out the way it did… The decision by those involved to put down the animal was not easily made, nor made without considerable discussions.

The Sheriff’s Office said they wanted to inform the public of the incident because of the several gunshots heard in the neighborhood. Officials also asked people to respect the privacy of the water buffalo’s owner.

The map below shows the approximate location of where officials euthanized the water buffalo.

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