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Ram Named 'Bubba' Still On The Loose In Durham

Bubba the ram has been spotted several times in Durham in the past week. He's still on the run.
Steve Sbraccia, WNCN News

There’s a ram on the loose in Durham County whose escape tactics have outsmarted capture attempts by the Durham County Sheriff’s Office, a man with a tranquilizer gun and a local veterinarian with a lasso. The animal was first spotted near Odyssey Drive in Durham on Monday afternoon, August 25, and is thought to be a either a Barbados/Mouflon sheep or a Toggenburg goat. Deputy Paul Sherwin with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office was one of the officers who responded to Monday's call.

“We partnered up with Dr. Huron from Flat River Veterinary Hospital, who is a very experienced roper,” Sherwin said. “He and his buddy came out with a tranquilizer gun and a lasso and we tried to get him for two and a half hours. The problem is we just can’t get close enough to employ any non-lethal option.”

Deputy Sherwin said the animal, who is now nicknamed “Bubba,” disappeared and showed up again Labor Day weekend on Wintercrest Lane in Durham. He said that the Sheriff’s Office went back out to try and capture Bubba with the city police on Sunday, but that it ran into the woods after 20 minutes.

“He’s in the neighborhood of 150 pounds and he’s fast,” Sherwin said. “Our line is: as long as he does not pose a danger, and is not causing any property damage, we plan to leave him alone and hope that we will go find a more rural area to reside in.”

Many people have responded to the Durham County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post about the animal with suggestions for capture, including sheep dogs, sleeping pills and luring him in with female goats. One Facebook user even says the goat might have been one that escaped from his back yard a few years ago. Deputy Sherwin was amused with the creative responses that have been suggested and says that they have urged people to stop feeding Bubba in hopes that he’ll leave the city.

“I hope he just moves to Chatham County,” Sherwin said.

Laura moved from Chattanooga to Chapel Hill in 2013 to join WUNC as a web producer. She graduated from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in the spring of 2012 and has created radio and multimedia stories for a variety of outlets, including Marketplace, Prairie Public, and Maine Public Broadcasting. When she's not out hunting stories, you can usually find her playing the fiddle.
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