Here's the Scoop: July 2, 2008

Animal rights. And Wrongs.
A few weeks back, our “Cub Reporter” outgrew her title. What started as an innocent tip about a prospective story ended happily a few days ago with another fine piece of journalism by our new “Buffalo Reporter.” Quite a promotion.
Apparently, bear stories in the Catskills have become a bit boring. Even the tale of a bear breaking into a home and chugging down some champagne doesn’t grab folks like it used to when bear sightings were relatively rare.
A buffalo tale — that’s another story. In case you happened to miss this bit of breaking news — a semi-local farm “lost” more than a dozen buffalo that were being brought to the Catskills. The animals, most of which weighed about a ton, started acting like they were deer. Fortunately, no car-buffalo crashes were reported.
Because of the difficulty of capturing and moving a 2,000-pound animal, many of the buffaloes were shot. Rumor has it that some “mighty hunter” even whacked the head off one of the downed animals. My guess is in a few years, once memories have faded, this trophy will be the subject of a fantastic hunting tale.

Lucky one
One calf, however, escaped the fate of the others.
Roaming (journalists are obligated to use this term whenever describing a buffalo on the loose) around the hills surrounding Margaretville, this baby buffalo became an instant star. Save The Buffalo signs sprang up more quickly than gas station price changes. This baby buffalo was a rock star.
To some folks, finding a way to capture and move the baby buffalo — whose name will be determined by a contest, naturally — to safety, became nearly a full-time occupation. Which makes you wonder: What do these people do the rest of the time? Just kidding...that’s their own business.
I, for one, am simply glad that the baby buffalo decided to make tracks around Margaretville. As a result, we now have a buffalo gift store, buffalo milk is practically the community’s national drink and there is serious consideration to changing the village’s name to Marbuffaville. Things are good.
That’s why, as comforting as the news of the buffalo’s capture and relocation to a safe (read: this baby will not be appearing on the menu of a trendy beefalo restaurant anytime soon) environment was, there was also a sense of disappointment. Sort of like the letdown that could be expected if Bigfoot got caught.
The good news is, the Law of Unusual Animal Sightings kicked in almost immediately. We have it here, on good authority, that an alligator has been spotted several times at Lake Wawaka in Halcottsville. This is true. Really.
I’m hoping that the alligator, too, can be saved. But not until I have my T-shirts ready for sale.