The Buffalo's Owner said, “It’s great to have UKCAPS on board with this search. I hope that their aircraft and crews will be able to cover a much larger area than we have previously on the ground. I also understand that the search they are undertaking will be co-ordinated with a vehicle on the ground that will be able to direct us directly towards any sightings immediately.”
UKCAPS Deputy Unit Chief Pilot Norman Sutherland said: “UKCAPS has supported a lot of wildlife related searches over the last 10 years. In that time we’ve looked for dogs, seals, whales, even birds of prey but I can’t recall us ever searching for a buffalo – although it’s not unknown! The kind of light aircraft we utilise are regularly used in Africa to support wildlife conservation projects, including looking for elephants, rhinos and other endangered species. They can fly low and slow with excellent views of the ground. The challenge is always searching for something in wooded areas – especially when it is actively trying to hide – as is the case with this fellow!”
“We were able to get an aircraft to support the search within an hour of making contact with the buffalo farm today and have a number of additional sorties planned for tomorrow if required.”
He noted “Anyone can contact UKCAPS if they have a humanitarian need for airborne assistance whether it’s a search for a missing person, aerial photography, environmental monitoring or event support. Contact can be via email@example.com or facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ukcaps/
Latest news (21 Dec) - several aircraft have now searched the area and there has been good coverage in the press, radio and TV of Sky Watch involvement. The last aircraft today reported a sighting but this turned out to be a second buffalo, put out as a lure for the missing beast. At least it shows we know a buffalo when we see one.