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Video: 15 Escaped Bison Shot Dead After Overrunning New York State Thruway

Fifteen bison were shot dead in upstate New York after escaping from a farm and thundering across Interstate 87, the New York Thruway.
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It could have been a scene out of Yellowstone National Park’s Montana in winter, but instead it unfolded in upstate New York on a windswept April day.

More than a dozen bison escaped from a farm in upstate New York on Thursday April 23. They apparently crossed the Hudson River and thundered onto the Thruway heading south toward New York City before being shot dead on Friday April 24 by hunters hired by their owner, George Mesick.

AP Photo/ Mike Groll

A herd of buffalo run along Interstate 87, Friday, April 24, 2015, in Bethlehem, N.Y.

The 15 animals apparently escaped via a broken fence from a farm in a town called Schodack, on the east side of the Hudson River. Mesick told the Albany Times Union that the bison could not be captured unharmed or be tranquilized, leaving no other option.

“The buffalo are wild animals, they’re not tame animals,” Mesick said before the bison were gunned down. "There is a zero percent chance of getting them back right now, I think. I just want to get this done with as fast as possible so that no one gets hurt."

AP Photo/ Mike Groll

Shooters take aim and shoot at a herd of buffalo in a creek on Friday, April 24, 2015, in Coeymans, N.Y.

Though Mesick raises the bison for meat, the shooting resonated with controversial culling that occurs annually just outside the borders of Yellowstone, in Montana. Bison are killed there every year when they cross the boundary seeking food and lower altitudes in the depths of winter.

RELATED: More Than 400 Yellowstone Bison Slaughtered So Far This Year in Montana

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ABC News reported the incident, which occurred about 10 miles south of Albany, and posted a slide show of the saga as it unfolded.