I recently reclaimed a fortress that got wiped out by a goblin ambush, and everything is going well except that there are a bunch of Yaks and Buffalo that belonged to the previous tenants are now roaming throughout my fortress that I can't select for a Pasture, nor do they show up for butchering, nor do they show up in my stocks menu.

I've tried setting cage traps for them, but they just walk right over the traps without being caught.

How do I go about catching these animals?

EDIT: I just realized that the Yaks belonged to a group of merchants who showed up just before the ambush, BUT still, how do I capture them?

  • 1
    If you're going to answer the question yourself, please post an answer rather than just editing the question. Mar 10, 2012 at 17:14

2 Answers 2


If by "capture" you mean cage them, unconscious creatures will trigger traps no matter who or what they are. You could funnel them into an area full of cage traps, then cause a small cave-in that would knock them unconscious.

However, you likely won't be able to tame them as you would a wild caged animal, but you can probably turn them into useful resources by dropping them a z-level or 20.


Does it say they are tame? ie have the (tame) tag after the animal name. if not they are wild.

If they are friendly animals like from the merchant they will bypass any traps. Last night I slaughtered some hippie merchants because they refused to trade some wood items. I spared the horses hoping I could capture them, unfortunately I couldn't so I opted to slaughter them instead when they tried to run away. so yuo might not be able to capture them. although any caged animals that were sold automatically become yours when the merchants die.

One thing to try is to capture live land animal from the kennel.

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    Unfortunately "capture live land animal" refers to vermin; your trapper will grab an animal trap from the stockpile, set it up somewhere, and watch it until something gets caught (like a rat or cave lizard or something). There is probably no way to deal with this "not-tame/not-wild" livestock, except have the militia kill it (inside, so the remains will be stockpiled) and the butcher can then turn it into delicious food. Note: if it's killed outside, your dwarves won't stockpile the remains by default, and then the butcher won't see it for butchery.
    – Paul Z
    Mar 14, 2012 at 18:38

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