Bailey, with owner Jim Sautner, in the family living room at their ranch near Spruce Grove, west of Edmonton. ((CBC))

Bailey, the eight-year-old pet buffalo who lived on a farm west of Edmonton, often sharing the family living room, has died.

The 725-kilogram animal died Friday after his leg became trapped in the metal bars of a feeder, owner Linda Sautner told CBC News on Tuesday.

Although they were able to free Bailey quickly, he could not get back on his feet, and died as a result of pressure on his heart and lungs, Sautner said.

While most buffalo turn aggressive by the time they are one year old, Bailey was abandoned by his mother and hand-fed from a bottle, giving him a mellow temperament, and earning him the nickname "gentle giant." 

He spent most of his time outdoors, but often squeezed through the doors of the Sautner home to lounge with the family.


Bailey's fame won him special privileges including a stay Edmonton's Westin Hotel. ((CBC))

Bailey had become something of a celebrity, appearing in numerous stories around the world and even being allowed to stay in Edmonton's Westin Hotel.

The Sautners, who are buffalo ranchers near Spruce Grove, said Bailey had become an important marketing tool in a beef market haunted by fears of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease. Spruce Grove is about 20 kilometres west of Edmonton.

Jim Sautner often joked that when Bailey became agitated, he had a secret weapon to calm him down.

"Every time he gets upset, or gets me upset, and causes me to get annoyed, I just whisper in his ear...'buffalo burgers'," Sautner laughed.