Free-range lamb in Bluffton caught on a tennis court

BLUFFTON, SC (WSAV) – A lamb that had been on the loose for several days in a community in Bluffton is now safe and sound.

Kelly Housaman said she was driving around the Hampton Hall Club on Monday when she came across a sheep munching on someone’s lawn.

“Another couple who had also spotted him arrived with their golf cart and showed me a video of the sheep swimming in the lagoon with two alligators following him,” she said.

Housaman said she and the couple quietly followed the sheep into neighbors’ backyards. At one point, she found herself crouching near a lagoon.

“About 2 feet from me is another giant alligator,” Housaman recalled. “All I can think is, ‘Please don’t alligator bait me while I’m chasing this sheep.'”

The alligator kept his distance, but Housaman said a good hour passed before the lamb scurried off into the woods, ending the day’s search.

The next morning, Hampton Hall director of tennis Paul Tollefson met the lamb. While he had encountered wild animals at work before (an armadillo included), this sheep was a first.

“I had seen people talking about it,” he explained. “He gnawed through the rope he was tied to, probably from a nearby lot outside the neighborhood.”

When he arrived at work Tuesday morning, Tollefson said he saw the lamb charging at a woman who was walking her two golden retrievers.

“I don’t know if he was trying to play or what. The old lady was scared to death that her dogs would attack her. I tried to use my best sheep to whisper, to no avail,” he laughed.

Instead, Tollefson asked the woman to walk her dogs inside the closed tennis court for the lamb to follow.

Indeed, that did the trick.

“If anyone can come and grab him, I’ve got him locked up,” Tollefson shared on Facebook.

“I dropped my kids off at school and rushed there,” Housaman said. Meanwhile, Beaufort County Animal Services was on the way.

Housaman said she managed to corner the sheep with the help of another resident, a security guard and Tallulah Trice, director of animal services.

“The sheep took one last leap and I grabbed the rope in my hand and grabbed it,” Housaman said. “He was quite hidden at this point and allowed me to straddle him to keep him still while [Trice] grabbed his jumbo.

She sealed her two-day lamb hunt with a selfie.

The lamb is believed to be either a Cotswold or Dorset breed and had been on the run for six days. Trice said that in a situation like this, it’s likely the rightful owner won’t show up for the animal.

“It happens more than people realize,” Trice said.

Last month on Lady’s Island, a bull was seen trotting through traffic after escaping from a nearby pasture.

In fact, the director owns three goats and nine chickens from other animal encounters across the county.

“We deal with this stuff all the time,” added Trice.

So where’s the lamb?

Now named Poseidon, he made his home at Edenhope Farms, an animal sanctuary/bed and breakfast on Marsh Drive.

Farm owner Cyndi Allison said Poseidon fit right in with the other animals – peacocks, chickens, cattle, ducks and her famous goat included.

“He’s doing great,” Allison said.

If you encounter sheep wandering around your neighborhood, Beaufort County Animal Services can be reached at 843-255-5010.


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Jennifer R. Strohm