CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misidentified the species.
SEYMOUR, Tenn. (WATE) – An investigation by the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office is underway after a bison was shot and killed in Seymour.
Sevier County deputies responded to a property on Dinkins Road around 9 a.m. Monday. The victim stated someone had shot his bison and tried to cut its head off.
Neighbors reported seeing someone driving a black Toyota in an out of the are and parked in the same area where the bison was shot. Neighbors also reported hearing a loud gunshot Sunday morning around 4:36 a.m.
The owner said he last saw the bison in the field on Friday, May 22.
The animal was described as a buffalo in a Sevier County Sheriff’s Office incident report, but while the terms buffalo and bison are used interchangeably, they are different animals.
Buffalo vs. Bison
Bison are native to North and South America whereas buffaloes are native to Africa and Asia, according to a statement from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine.
The Caped Buffalo is native to Africa, and the water buffalo is native to Asia, according to the Veterinary Medicine school. Bison are native to the Americas and are what people in the United States are most familiar seeing.
Buffaloes are oftentimes larger and heavier animals than bison. They both have dark brown to black hair coats but bison tend to have much longer and thicker hair than buffalo, according to UT. Also, the bison has a nice thick beard whereas the buffalo do not have such features.
The horns of bison are short and curved whereas horns in buffalo tend to be long and rounded. “It is extremely easy to confuse these two terms because most people in the Americas grow up hearing the term buffalo when people are actually talking about bison,” UT said.
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