Remote Control - Saturday 31 August 2013

Ronald and Sherron settle into a night at home with Wildthing the bison

Ronald and Sherron settle into a night at home with Wildthing the bison

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Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam...

Let’s get this straight from the off – you don’t need a 
bison as a pet.

And furthermore, I’ll qualify this as my opinion, it’s silly to have a bison as your best man.

So I reckon that made the World’s Biggest Pets (Channel 5, 7pm on Monday) 
unmissable.

Ronald Bridges of Texas, where else?, allows his pet Wildthing to roam around the kitchen with the freedom its predecessors roamed around the Great Plains.

That’s right, a 6ft tall, one tonne, even-toed ungulate blocking your view of the telly.

With skulls designed as a battering ram, we were told they kill more people than grizzly bears every year in Yellowstone National Park: “They’re an attack animal; they like attacking.”

Ronald and his wife Sherron Bridges run a ranching business and, apparently, when Wildthing was born in 2005, Ronald decided to tame and raise him as a part of the family.

As the story goes: “When the buffalo responded beautifully to domestication, the Bridges kind of went overboard.

“They actually gave him a room of his own in the house where he could eat, sleep and come and go as he pleased.

“The only time he’s not allowed inside is when they have guests over, as American Bison can actually be pretty temperamental and dangerous around people.”

So Wildthing isn’t invited to silver service dinner 
parties.

But he was invited to the wedding and the reception.

By all accounts, the 40 guests at the wedding stayed clear of the huge bison, who reportedly “performed his duties as best man pretty well”.

Ronald remembered he was specially brushed for the occasion and looked very smart. He even carried the rings on the tips of his horns.

But he didn’t appear that domesticated to me as he sniffed a trophy head mounted on the Bridges’ wall then started to spear the settee.

Sherron called him naughty, adding: “She’s horning the couch and she needs to know that she can’t rip a whole in the couch.”

I’m sure the poor beast felt remorseful.

Wildthing’s friend 
entered the scene and sent a river of urine across the kitchen.

“It’s like getting a camel out of a sandpit.”

No I don’t get that either.

More madness followed.

Nicki from Newcastle has, by her last count, 88 snakes, lizards and spiders, but her pride and joy is her pet Burmese python.

Capable of eating her whole, she was recently 
rescued by Nicki from her previous owner, who found her too big and dangerous to handle.

On a trip to the vet the beast, which is heavier than Nicki, tried to take a chunk out of her face.

She saved her looks by blocking the attack with her hand, which swelled up.

“I feel like crying cos she’s such a beautiful animal,” she said after unwinding the constrictor from her leg.

She added: “I think that was her retreating.”

Well it didn’t look like it was retreating to me.

All I learned is you need neither a snake or a bison as a pet. Stick to a canary.

Alan Burrows