The Lake County Sheriff’s Office shared an edited photo of “Tyson the Bison” beside a damaged Long Grove Covered Bridge as part of an April Fools’ Day joke. | Photo: Kimee Lee / Wauconda For Wauconda Facebook group

Area police departments took to social media Friday to make April Fools’ Day jokes about the bison that has been wandering around the Wauconda area since escaping from its owner months ago.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said on social media that they “cannot confirm or deny” a post made in the “Wauconda For Wauconda” Facebook group that “Tyson the Bison” might be responsible for some of the damage that has happened to the historic Long Grove Covered Bridge.

The photo posted in the Wauconda group showed a bison edited onto a photo of the Long Grove Covered Bridge from when it was heavily damaged by a box truck in June 2018.

The bridge has become well-known as it has been hit by oversized vehicles over 30 times in recent years, according to the sheriff’s office.

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The Island Lake Police Department also took to social media Friday by posting a photo of their “new” police patch with a bison on it.

A bison was caught on video running around near Camping World in Wauconda on September 16, 2021. | Photo via Facebook

“Great news, everyone! Turns out, Billy the Bison had wandered off into the prairie, on a rite of passage. After months of meditation, honing her survival skills, extensive tae kwon do training and foraging on wild mushrooms, she has returned. She’s massive, muscular and grew out some glorious horns of justice,” the post said.

“She will now be used by the Island Lake Police Department as a patrol bison. We have changed our patch to reflect the changes. We had to get rid of the patrol camel because he wouldn’t shut up about Wednesdays,” the post said.

“Tyson the Bison,” also called “Billy the Bison,” has been on the loose in the western Lake County and eastern McHenry County area since mid-September.

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Authorities said the owner of the animal reported it missing to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

A bison was spotted running down Neville Road between Dowell and Darrell roads north of Island Lake on September 18, 2021. | Photo: Vicki Ziegler via Facebook

 

The bison was being corralled into an enclosure from a trailer when she managed to escape.

Police said that the owner accepts it as a loss but hopes it will return.

The animal has been spotted dozens of times by Wauconda and Island Lakes residents, who have taken videos and photos and posted them on social media.

This week, the bison was spotted in the Lake Zurich area, residents reported.

Police have also urged residents to drive carefully and not approach the bison, which remains on the loose over six months after it escaped.