Police and animal experts are warning members of the public to keep a distance from a group of buffalo that escaped from a farm.

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The Piatt County Sheriff's Office said multiple buffalo escaped Wednesday from Liebs Farms, near Monticello, and authorities were able to wrangle all but four of the animals.

The buffalo, which escaped when a latch broke on a gate, caused school buses to be diverted to alternate routes while deputies attempted to capture the escaped bovine.

The sheriff's office warned residents not to approach the buffalo if they are spotted wandering loose and Richie Wolf, executive director of the Rock Springs Nature Center, said the animals could be dangerous if they feel threatened.

"Stay out of their way," Wolf told WAND-TV. "That is our main advice we would give anybody. They are a threat if you get between them, and their calf, especially if they are not used to people."

Monticello School Superintendent Vic Zimmerman said the buffalo causing students to be late to class was an unusual occurrence.

"Every day is a different day in school districts," Zimmerman said. "We're dealing with COVID. Didn't think we'd be dealing with a loose herd of buffalo in Piatt County. We've had a random cow or two cross the road, but no buffalo herds."