CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Mildred McIntyre said she's seen plenty of animals graze on her Jackson County farm in the 60-some years she's lived there. Mostly deer. But new creatures are trying to make McIntyre's farm their home: a 1,500-pound domestic water buffalo and the buffalo's newborn calf.
McIntyre, 93, of Evans, chases the buffaloes off with a garbage can lid and wooden spoon every night. She just doesn't have the energy to do it anymore.
The buffaloes, native to several Asian countries, showed up on her farm a couple of months ago, and McIntyre said she's tried everything to see something done about it.
Many have offered to shoot the animals, but she doesn't want that to happen.
"It's really a sad situation," said Kitty Bowles, McIntyre's niece and neighbor.
There used to be a deer- and exotic-animals hunting complex nearby, but the property was sold and the new owner seems to have abandoned the animals, Bowles said.
Buffaloes, wild hogs, sheep, goat and deer all have been spotted wandering around Evans, which is outside Ripley. Nobody wants to see harm come to the animals, but they're overstaying their welcome, Bowles said.
On Thursday, Bowles got in contact with Summer Wyatt, state director of the Humane Society of the United States.
Wyatt hasn't seen the animals in person but is reaching out to national animal sanctuaries that could possibly shelter them. The decision would then be up to state authorities to determine if the animals are disease free and healthy enough to relocate, she said.
It's difficult, though, to discover which agencies have jurisdiction over such animals.