10 Country: Bobby’s Pasture Zoo - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

10 Country: Bobby’s Pasture Zoo

Bobby Mancil Bobby Mancil

November 18, 2003

Coffee County-- It looks as if some animals have gotten lost and somehow made their way to South Georgia. The animals, rarely, if ever seen unless you travel thousands of miles to another part of the US, look woefully out of place. How did they get to a pasture on the western outskirts of Broxton, in Coffee County?

That question got answered recently, solving an animal mystery with pastures where unusual animals live behind tall fences on Bobby Mancil’s farm. Ostrich, buffalo and elk live where people would just them of them as lost animals, but mean much more to Bobby. “I see a lot of pets,” says Bobby Mancil who owns them. And, a lot of elk that people often mistakenly think are moose commonly seen out west and mid-west.

“Come on. Come on,” says Bobby, coaxing a female elk who gently eats grass out of his hand. Elk still fascinate him ever since he started with four of them in 1989. His herd grew. “Probably close to 80,” says Bobby, and they provide natural entertainment for him. “The young elk spar with one another, raise up on their hind legs and play. Occasionally, they slap one another,” says Bobby standing near about 40 elk.

Bobby finds elk don’t eat as much as cows. “Probably run three elk to one cow,” says Bobby whose cows graze the same pastures as the elk. The elk have a hard time in July and August because of the summer heat, but the colder it gets, the more playful they become, splashing around in the pond on a cold day. He has a cabin near the pond where he sits for hours watching the elk play. “Yeah, they are fun to me, might not be to a lot of people,” says Bobby.

He gets a lot of pleasure out of watching his animals be animals, even listening to them eat. A buffalo walks directly toward him, gently lowers his head and eats grass, lots of grass. “Sounds like he is really enjoying it like we would be eating a T-bone or something,” says Bobby as he watches the buffalo eat a few feet from him. He noticed buffalo deal with hot weather differently than most animals. “They just sit down and chew their cud,” says Bobby.

The buffalo don’t hunt for shade like most animals do in the summer. They stop where they are and tough it out. It was Bobby’s natural curiosity that prompted him to buy a buffalo for a simple reason. “Just to look at,” says Bobby. And listen to. “Enjoy the animals as a whole,” says Bobby as he sees elk in the far side of the pasture and the buffalo in front of him.

Bobby worked out west where he saw buffalo and elk everyday and realized, “I’d really like to have some of those,” says Bobby. He followed his dream, making it come true, bringing the animals to his farm, where he could listen to the unusual sound of a mama elk talking to her baby, and seeing buffalo roam on his farm where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day.

Bobby Mancil finds people like elk meat because it’s tasty, low in fat and cholesterol. People who live in the Orient buy ground-up Elk horns to treat various ailments.

posted at 3:20PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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