Several bison belonging to rapper Rick Ross escaped his property just south of Atlanta last week, causing some confusion in the neighborhood as residents reported seeing them roaming around yards and walking near homes.
On Tuesday, Ross posted several videos on his Instagram saying the animals were his and introducing one of the bison named “Timbuktu.”
“When y’all come across Timbuktu, just tell him y’all family. Say ‘I’m coming to show you love,’” Ross said in one video. “You may deal with puppies, dogs, I deal with cattle.”
In the Instagram story, the cheerful rapper added: “When you see my buffalo, give them a carrot. Give it an apple. They’re so kind and so peaceful.”
Cattle, sheep, horses, and goats are all legal to own in Fayette County.
In another video, Ross expressed his thankfulness that the animals were safely returned.
“For everybody that’s wanting a statement and a response (about) my bulls, my cows, a couple of buffalos that got away in the community, this is my response: I always return stray animals,” he said, calling his more than 350-acre property the “Promised Land.”
Ross also urged other residents to keep their animals collared but admitted that his were not.
“Mine don’t have a collar because you know it’s mine,” he said.
In yet another video, he is seen feeding carrots to several of his horses and calls himself “Rodeo Rick.”
The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office explained in a post on March 20 that the unusual pets are legal to own and urged caution as they “can be unpredictable and possibly become aggressive.”
“Who would have ever thought, Buffalo in Fayette County,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement over the weekend.
“On March 13, several buffalo decided to take a stroll around Fayette County and explore the beautiful homes of the Northbridge Community. The Sheriff’s Office was made aware of the situation and is currently working with the Fayette County Marshal’s Office to remedy the situation. Sheriff Babb and Chief Deputy Rhodes have also been in communication with Northbridge residents since last week listening to these concerns,” the FCSO statement continued.
“So, as captivating as these animals are, we encourage everyone to use caution if they were to encounter them. Although they are mostly docile, they can be unpredictable and possibly become aggressive. If you happen to encounter the buffalo, we encourage you to contact the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office,” the statement concluded.
According to the sheriff’s office, Ross could be held responsible for not properly restraining the animals: “If the owner is shown to be negligent, they could be charged.”
It is not clear if any charges are being pursued at this time.
At least one neighbor expressed frustration over the March 13 incident and said the animals create an unsafe environment for her two children, FOX 5 Atlanta reported.
“I have an 8-year-old and I have a 10-year-old. My children are afraid to go outside,” the resident said, according to WSB-TV.
Other residents in the Georgia neighborhood said they were shocked to see the bison in their yards.
A video obtained by TMZ showed one person discovering the bison on their property.
“I come to the office and I pull in the driveway and this was outside,” the person recording the video can be heard saying. “The office that I am in, it’s like a home office and look what’s in the yard. I was so scared.”
Other residents in the video can be seen gesturing the cattle away from the area.
According to FOX 5, Ross was gifted the two bison from his partners at a clothing company last year. His property also has four horses and a bull.
Although the terms buffalo and bison are often used interchangeably, according to Smithsonian’s National Zoo they are distinct animals that can be told apart by certain characteristics.
Bison have large humps at their shoulders and typically have bigger heads than buffalo. Bison are also native to North America, while buffalo are native to Africa and Asia.
Channel 2 Action News reported Ross has mentioned he could get lions on the property and a community meeting on the issue is set for later this week.
Rick Ross is a widely popular rapper from Miami who has become a successful businessman, and community icon over the last nearly 20 years.