May 19 (UPI) -- Forest preserve officials in Illinois said they aim to have a bison on the loose since September 2021 captured safely by the end of May.
Lake County Forest Preserves officials said the 1,300-pound animal, dubbed "Tyson the Bison" by the Lake County Sheriff's Office and "Billy the Bison" by members of the public, has been loose in the Lakewood Forest Preserve since escaping from a trailer last September.
"The goal is to have the farm animal removed by Memorial Day weekend, when preserve attendance traditionally increases," John Tannahill, director of public safety at the Lake County Forest Preserves told WGN-TV.
"The safety of our users and the animal is our No. 1 priority. Bison is considered domestic livestock. Therefore, a forest preserve is not an appropriate home."
The bison's owner, a Wauconda farmer, has been working with forest preserve ranger police to attempt to lure the animal into a barn for safe capture and return to the farm.
Tannahill said the owner could face fines if the bison is not captured by the end of the month.