'They came bustin' out!': Herd of bison runs loose in village of Hythe

A herd of 15 bison was reported on the loose after breaking out of a trailer in the Village of Hythe Tuesday night. The bison were last seen travelling north through Hythe along Highway 43. RCMP are warning motorists, and residents to keep an eye out for the wild animals and to not approach them.

RCMP says 15 bison were on the loose after they escaped a trailer on Tuesday evening

Bison roam the streets of Hythe, Alta., after escaping from a trailer on Tuesday night. (Jeannette Parry/CBC)

Residents in and around the village of Hythe in northwest Alberta are being warned to be on the lookout for a roaming herd of bison.

The beasts were being hauled by their owner on Tuesday night when they broke free from a locked trailer.

Phil Horseman was at the Hythe Husky when the animals escaped.

"I see this big truck pull up with a big trailer loaded up with some bison on it," said Horseman, who was gassing up his pickup truck.

"Then all of a sudden, the bison just came running out of there one by one," he said. "As soon as that truck stopped ... they came bustin' out!"

Horseman said the animals headed north through the village.


Nancy Unger lives a few blocks from the gas station. She was on Facebook when she read about what was going on and saw pictures of the bison. She recognized the neighbourhood.

'That's kind of scary' 

"All that went through my mind was, 'I hope nobody's out on the streets,' because that's kind of scary," said Unger.

She looked out the window and saw the bison.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Deanna Fontaine said officers spent several hours trying to track the animals on Tuesday night.

On the village's community Facebook page, resident Lisa Bratland posted on Wednesday that she was with the owner and eight of the bison had been found. Seven were still unaccounted for.

The RCMP warned people, especially drivers, to keep an eye out for the animals.

"It can cause extensive damage, or severe harm to a motorist, if they hit an animal that size," said Fontaine.

"They're not the same as a cow or a bull that would be on a typical livestock environment, on a farm. They're still very much like wild animals."

Anyone who spots the bison is asked to contact RCMP.

Hythe is about 60 kilometres northwest of Grande Prairie.