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When driving on Glades Road to or from Blue Mountain Lodge or Appalachian Escape cabin to or from Gatlinburg, you will be passing by the Hammonds Farm, where the curious sight of buffalo grazing in the pasture.
These animals are officially called bison but — according to the National Bison Association — are commonly known as buffalo.
Interpretive boards near the pasture provide visitors with some strange and unusual facts about the behemoths. Fully grown bulls can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds, and pregnant females that are in labor can actually postpone birth for as much as two weeks if the herd needs to move to another pasture.
The strength and the unpredictable nature of the animals requires special fencing to prevent them from breaking out of the confinement of their pasture. The farm owner, Hammonds spent $7,500 to have a high electric fence installed at the pasture. A sign warns visitors the fence is highly electrified. “Buffalo can’t be tamed,” he said. “They are wild animals. They can be moody and restless. So I have to be real cautious with them.” Despite the volatile nature of the creatures, buffalo farms are springing up across the nation as Americans seek to become more health conscious.
According to Hammonds, buffalo meat is extremely lean and contains more protein than beef. Ground buffalo meat can be purchased at Kroger in Pigeon Forge and Sevierville, and buffalo burgers are also sold at the Diner, on Highway 66 in Sevierville.