The Story Of A Guy And His Pet Buffalo

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Imagine a guy and his buffalo walk into a bar... no, no, really, this happens on a fairly regular basis in Spruce Grove, a small town in Alberta, Canada, where Jim Sautner and his three-year-old, 1,800-pound buffalo hit the town in Sautner's specially modified red Pontiac Parisienne.

When he's not driving, Bailey Jr., as the bison is called, even kicks back with a beer.

This seemed incredible to us. But before All Things Considered host Guy Raz spoke to Sautner, producer Jacob Margolis made calls to places around town, and he got the same response: Oh, yeah, Jim hangs out with his buffalo all the time.

Sautner told Guy that about three years ago, his other pet bison Bailey Sr. died. About three weeks later, he got a call from a woman who told him a buffalo cow had given birth and died. She asked him if he would take care of the baby buffalo that survived.

"I initially said no, because I was still having my pity party over Bailey Sr.," said Sautner. But then he went over to see him. He was 40 to 50 pounds and cinnamon in color, "the cutest little thing you've ever seen." And Sautner could no refuse him.

Sautner and his wife Linda bottle fed him and fell in love.

"Sometimes, he'd come into the bedroom; sometimes he'd jump in the bed and that didn't work out too well, generally," Sautner said. "As he got bigger, he kept taking too many blankets, so we had to ask him to move outside."

Now, he's a local celebrity and a staple in the local area. The Edmonton Times, which reported on this story, earlier this week, put together this video of the improbable duo:

And if you're wondering, Bailey Jr. has been in a china shop and didn't break a thing. He did go into a bank once and as Sautner says, "the deposit came out the wrong end."

"Needless to say, I don't have an account there anymore," said Sautner.

Much more of Guy's conversation with Sautner on this afternoon's All Things Considered. Tune into your local station to listen. Later tonight, we'll also post audio of the as-aired interview.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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