A group of bison who were seized in an animal cruelty case has left Washington for a new home in Texas.

Workers with Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene, Washington, loaded up five bison onto a trailer Thursday and drove them to South Dakota, where they were held until the rest of the bison could join the group. Two other bison who are also part of the case were uncooperative during Thursday’s efforts, and workers were not able to get them on the trailer.

“We quit well after dark when it got too dangerous to keep trying,” Sara Penhallegon, director of Central Valley Animal Rescue, wrote in an email. “The last two were pretty worked up and had blown through our corral panels and one had charged some of us.”

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The group of five bison left Friday to beat heavy snowfall that was forecasted to fall in Montana. When the last two bison calmed down, Penhallegon said crews loaded them onto a smaller trailer and transported them to South Dakota as well.

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Workers at Central Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene, Wash. corral bison onto a trailer on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019.
Central Valley Animal Rescue

Central Valley Animal Rescue, which nursed the malnourished bison back to health over the last 18 months, was in an ongoing custody battle with the herd’s previous owner, who refused to relinquish control.

Penhallegon said Central Valley Animal Rescue gained custody of the bison on Friday and an auction was held. She said the rescue group is transferring ownership to the Black Beauty Ranch in Texas, where the bison will be driven to live their lives out.