Terrible news from Golden Gate Park this afternoon: one of the seven new baby bison who arrived at the paddock early last month has died "after sustaining injuries from an incident with a small dog" yesterday afternoon, the Chronicle reports. Wait a second — a small dog killed a bison?
According to witnesses, some kind of "toy breed" canine — a mischievous little yappy one, apparently — was seen running around the rear of the enclosure yesterday morning. The tiny pup was seen burrowing its way out of the pen, leading investigators to believe the little guy got in to the bison-only area in the same way. After vets were called in to check out the bison herd, the youngest and smallest among the seven female calves was found to have a laceration and three broken ribs. Vets treated the calf and released her back into the paddock, but the bison was found dead yesterday evening.
SF Zoo sent SFist the following statement:
Today's post-mortem exam on the deceased bison showed a bison in good body condition outwardly . The large skin and muscle lacerations repaired yesterday at the Golden Gate Park facility were intact. In addition to the lacerations, there were three broken ribs, as well as extensive bruising on the animals left chest wall and sternum, and blood within the left chest cavity. The injuries were attributed to blunt force trauma by the San Francisco Zoo veterinary staff, possibly due to running into a fence post or tree.
How on earth a toy dog managed to break three ribs on a bison calf is still under investigation. We're not exactly bison experts here, but we suspect the poor girl got banged up in a tiny stampede. The dog's handler, meanwhile, was cited by Park Patrol for walking five off-leash dogs in a designated on-leash area.
A sad day for Diane Feinstein's tiny herd, indeed. It seems like just yesterday these little guys were coming off the trailer from Redding, CA: