Severed buffalo head found in Boulder yard
Residents of a house in the 900 block of 18th Street found a severed
buffalo head in their front yard early Sunday morning -- but it wasn't
Ralphie's. Police said they checked with the University of Colorado,
and the head does not belong to CU's renowned mascot, Ralphie V. "That
was a concern," Boulder police spokeswoman Kim Kobel said. "We checked
with CUPD and we checked with Ralphie's handlers. She is fine."
Residents called police to report the bison head around 1 a.m. Sunday,
Kobel said. They had gone out Saturday evening, and when they returned,
they found the head propped on a landscaping boulder in the front yard.
Kobel said the residents told police they had no idea why anyone would
leave a bison head in their yard.
Police are talking to local ranchers to see if they are missing any
buffalo and talking to processors to see if they recently sold a bison
head or an entire body to a private party. Kobel said there was some
blood found at the scene. The case remains under investigation.
Ralphie was last seen publicly running across Folsom Field prior to the
start of the CU Buffs' game against Arizona on Saturday. There are two
living Ralphie mascots -- Ralphie IV and V -- and both are taken care of
on ranches, the location of which the university does not disclose, said
CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard.
"It's to protect against any harm that could come to the animal, pranks
that people from opposing schools might want to play, whether harmless
or harmful," Hilliard said. "It's really to protect the safety of the
When the athletic department learned of the severed head from Boulder
police, officials immediately got in contact with the handlers for both
animals, Hilliard said. University officials have spoken with the
handlers and seen new photographs of both animals. "We know for an
absolute fact that both animals are safe and sound."
While officials obviously were relieved, Hilliard said whoever left the
head did a cruel thing, regardless of how they obtained the head. "It's
not really a very funny joke, if someone thinks it's a joke. Whenever
you're dealing with animals, even if they were properly killed for meat,
to just throw the head out there, that's a very menacing gesture. It
goes far beyond a prank."