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The Horns of a Dilemma : ‘Miniature’ Buffalo’s Giant Size Compels Owners to Look for Buyer

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Greer the buffalo wasn’t supposed to get that big. The man who sold him to Gary and Anne Moll said he was a “miniature buffalo” who had already reached his full size, standing 4 feet high at the hump, the Molls said.

But grow he did. Greer is now an enormous furry full-grown male, standing 6 feet at the hump. He weighs close to 2,000 pounds and Gary Moll estimates he hits 35 mph in a dead run.

Picture a Volkswagen Beetle with horns, grunting and running around in the backyard.

Why did he get so big?

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Well, it turns out there is no such thing as a miniature buffalo. Greer was just a very young bison of the run-of-the-prairie, thundering brown behemoth variety.

Their plans for a herd of bitsy bison dashed, the Molls now want to sell Greer and the two buffalo cows they bought for breeding.

They contend the buffalo are harmless. On the other hand, their metal corral looks like it was struck by a truck. When he gets hungry, Greer just pushes against one side of the fence until the entire metal structure slides onto a new area of fresh grass, Anne Moll said.

And they have escaped. But Greer and the cows don’t wander off. They usually lumber up to a tree and rub their horns--which resemble baseball bats--against the bark.

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“Sometimes they surprise the people in the trailers,” said Anne Moll, referring to tenants on their property. “We just kind of lead them back to where they belong with some hay.”

The Molls acknowledge that no matter how docile their buffalo may be, they need a lot of room to roam.

So who buys three full grown buffalo? The Molls have received several offers, including one from a man who breeds buffalo on his ranch in Texas. Butchers have also made inquiries. Gary Moll said that buffalo meat is worth a $1 per pound and one hide is worth several thousand dollars.

“The truth is they’re worth more dead than alive,” he said, but added that he would never sell Greer for meat.

Moll said he became fascinated with buffalo after he took a year off from his law practice about 12 years ago to work as a cowboy in South Dakota. He bought Greer about two years later.

His daughters, Jamie, 17, and Karri, 8, adore Willie, a 2-year-old calf who enjoys having his head stroked. The family plans to keep Willie, Greer’s only offspring, but hope he doesn’t get too big like his daddy.

“We cut him pretty early,” said Anne Moll explaining that the 3-foot-high buffalo was castrated at a young age. “He shouldn’t get too big, considering he’s not really a bull anymore.”

Talk about a discouraging word. . .

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