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Buffalo dies at Golden Gate Park after chased by small dog

January 5, 2012 |  3:34 pm

A bison calf at the historic buffalo paddock in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park has died of injuries it suffered after being chased by a small dog that burrowed its way into the enclosure.

The young bison apparently ran into a fence and snapped three ribs after becoming spooked by the dog, described only as a small, toy breed, according to CBS San Francisco.

The young animal was among seven calves that were being quarantined at the buffalo facility, which is operated by the San Francisco Zoo and the city recreation department.

The dog was under the care of a handler but was running off-leash, as were four other dogs, according to Lora LaMarca, a spokeswoman for the zoo.

A park ranger found the handler trying to coax the dog from the enclosure.

The injured bison was treated and returned to the compound but was found dead Wednesday afternoon.

The dog handler was cited for having dogs off-leash in a designated on-leash area and for animal disturbance, according to the zoo statement.

The bison herd has been a popular feature at Golden Gate Park since 1877 and at its current location since 1899.


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--Steve Marble

Photo: A buffalo at the Golden Gate Park paddock. Credit: San Francisco  Recreation & Parks Department