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No bull: Cows loose with llama, dog in N.D.

A small herd of cattle, plus a llama and a dog, were on the loose west of Reynolds, N.D., on Sunday bedeviling sheriff's deputies from Grand Forks and Traill counties.

Ownership of the eight head of cattle, the llama and the big white dog

hadn't been discovered yet, but a nearby farmer had agreed to pen them up for the night until it's sorted out, said Sgt. Bob Thompson of the Grand Forks County Sheriff's Department.

"We had some problems with the llama," Thompson said. "It was pretty aggressive. It will run toward you."

The herd was seen about eight to 10 miles west of Reynolds, which is on the border of the two counties.

"We were just concerned they will get on the roadway and a car will strike them," Thompson said.

Another report of some out-of-the-fence cattle was phoned in from about nine miles west of Thompson, N.D.

It's not clear yet if the cattle are related.

Known for their soft wool and less-than-soft personalities, llamas often are used as guard animals for cattle and sheep to keep away predators such as coyotes.

Doug Ackerman, who has had a few head of cattle on his farm three miles west of Reynolds, said both sheriff's departments called him Sunday, asking about the stray animals.

But he had sold his Wednesday in West Fargo.

He was contacted Sunday, he said, because for a couple of months he had been having problems with his seven cattle getting out.

"I had one real smart animal, who knew how to open a gate on an electric fence," Ackerman said. One thing and another, including his job at American Crystal Sugar, kept him from getting the problem fixed, Ackerman said.

"Then, I got a threatening call from the sheriff, saying I might get fined $1,000 and get 30 days in jail. I got scared as heck and took a day off and hauled them down to West Fargo."

Thompson said cattle calls are not unusual and deputies regularly respond to reports of bovines getting through fences and being on or near roadways.