ON THE RAMPAGE -- Tracy Whalen figured the 2,000-pound male buffalo might take the bait after it jumped a fence Sunday in the Calaveras County community of Rail Road Flat. She threw apples toward the beast, hoping it would follow the fruit and go away.
Instead, it turned and charged the 38-year-old, knocking her to the ground and using its horns to shred her upper left leg into hamburger. She is hospitalized, with roughly 100 stitches or staples in the leg and facing skin graft surgeries in the future. She suffered a shoulder injury as well.
The buffalo, one among dozens on the ranch owned by millionaire gun collector Dale Buller, 79, has escaped several times over the past week or so. Sgt. Laurie Murray of Calaveras County Animal Control said her officers have responded to numerous complaints, though Sunday's incident marked the first time anyone had been charged or injured by one of the animals.
"That buffalo's been out quite a bit in one week's time," Murray said.
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