Authorities in northwest Iowa have been spending much of this week helping round up some large animals that escaped from a ranch. About 200 buffalo broke out of their pen at a ranch in Sibley on Sunday. Chief Deputy Kevin Wollmuth, with the Osceola County Sheriff’s office, says they’ve proven hard to catch.

“They’re a lot faster than many people think,” Wollmuth said. Ranch hands have trying to corral the herd on horses and ATVs.

“If neighbors happen to spot one, they just have to call the sheriff’s office and we’ll contact the owners to let them know where they’re at,” Wollmuth said.

Most of the herd has been corralled, but a few buffalo are still on the loose. It’s not exactly clear how the animals broke out of the pen, but Wollmuth does not believe it’s a case of vandalism.

“Nobody really knows for sure, but they think it was probably a gate problem,” Wollmuth said. “It’s still under investigation, but it’s definitely something that had to do with the gate.” The buffalo have been spotted in five counties — Lyon, Osceola, Sioux and O’Brien counties in Iowa and Nobles County in Minnesota.

There have been no injuries, but Wollmuth is warning motorists to be careful while driving in the area.