Bubba – the rambunctious, roaming ram – is sold for $300 to local animal rescuers

jalexander@newsobserver.comJanuary 31, 2014 

— Bubba, the rambunctious ram who roamed around Durham for four months, was sold at auction for $300 Friday.

Justin and Rosemary Van Kleeck, animal rescuers from Chapel Hill, claimed Bubba at an auction at Elodie Farms. They outbid Elaine Walker of Orange County.

The Van Kleecks said Bubba will be neutered, get his shots and be sent to a farm in Guilford County, where he can roam with other sheep.

The bidding was quick and to the point, with both parties determined to win Bubba.

Before conceding the bidding, Walker looked over at the Van Kleecks, then at the cage and shelter where Bubba was housed.

“You’re not going to eat him are you?” she asked.

“We’re vegans,” Rosemary Van Kleeck answered.

Walker said she was a little disappointed she didn’t bring enough money for the ram, which had grazed through Durham until being caught in December.

In August, the 125-pound ram, with a mane that resembled a lion, appeared in a neighborhood not far from The Streets at Southpoint shopping center. His random appearances bewildered people, because there was no obvious source of hoofed mammals with long curling horns nearby.

Neighbors feared for his safety as he meandered between houses, peering in windows and drinking from birdbaths. Attempts to catch Bubba with nets and tranquilizer guns were unsuccessful.

“He was so afraid of people, I don’t know if he was ever on a farm,” said Deputy Paul Sherwin, public information officer with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office.

The ram later showed up in pictures on Twitter. One sheep-watcher posted a shot of Bubba on the GlaxoSmithKline campus in Research Triangle Park.

After he was caught, Bubba was kept at Elodie Farms for a little more than a month before being auctioned off.

“He was sweet but shy, like all the girls like,” said Dave Artigues, operator of Elodie Farms. “It’s been a lot of fun. Bubba was just a pleasure to have.”

Alexander: 919-932-2008; Twitter: @jonmalexander1

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