Bison shot, partially decapitated; Seymour neighbors offer $500 reward for information
The owner of a bison that was found shot to death on a farm on Dinkins Road in Seymour said neighbors are offering a $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.
The Sevier County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident, but the owner said the sheriff's office is not involved with the reward.
The investigation began when deputies were called to the scene after the bison's owner discovered the animal's body on May 25.
"You took a beautiful creature for absolutely no reason, no rhyme, that anybody can think of. You shot in an area where plenty of people live. You could've hurt somebody," explained neighbor Rachel Morin.
A report filed with the sheriff's office shows that someone tried to cut off the bison's head, but was apparently unsuccessful.
The owner said the last time they had seen the bison alive was on Friday and a neighbor reported hearing a gunshot just after 4:30 a.m. on May 24.
"That was a shocker. And when we found out that he said that it had been shot I actually was like 'whoa, I heard that shot,'" said Shala Cowan, another neighbor.
The owner said it's not clear who could be responsible for the shooting and no suspects were identified in the report.
A woman posted on Facebook about the incident saying, "I am so sad. One of the bison that live near us was murdered this weekend!"
She asked that anyone with information about the incident notify the sheriff's office at 865-453-4668.
The deputy chief told WVLT's Ashley Bohle the person or people responsible could face animal cruelty and/or vandalism charges.
The bison was 12 years old. Neighbors said two other bison remain in the pasture.