CLEARWATER, Fla. - A Tampa Bay real estate tycoon is the subject of a massive bison impoundment in South Dakota.
According to Corson County Sheriff Keith Gall, the Wilder Ranch is under constant surveillance for the neglect of between 4,000 and 6,000 bison.
"I'm ordered to care for the animals," Sheriff Gall said. "Make sure feeding procedures are taking place, water remains free-flowing instead of frozen."
Wilder Ranch is part of the Wilder Corporation, located in Clearwater and run by Maurice Wilder.
Sheriff Gall says Wilder's bison ranch has been a headache for years, but this is the worst it's ever been.
"To the point now, animals were completely out of control, on the highway constantly. We were responding to roaming animals in the highway 24 hours a day," Sheriff Gall said.
His department has been monitoring the ranch since February 2 when the Animal Health Board filed for an order of impoundment due to the animals' neglect.
Typically, impounded animals would be taken to a safe location and cared for until a legal decision is made. In this case, there are too many animals to move.
Sheriff Gall says many were in moderate to poor condition. Some were even found dead.
The main issue is malnourishment and lack of water. The temperature in Corson County hovered at a high of about 5 degrees below zero. Sheriff Gall says the bison lack the nutrition they need to survive.
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