News and Commentary

Cow Still At Large After Breaking Free From Slaughter, Spotted Abiding Traffic Laws
Cow running on dirt path in crop field - stock photo
John M Lund Photography Inc/Getty Images

A cow is still at large in Rhode Island after escaping slaughter on Thursday.

The 1,600-pound steer — a castrated cow (not pictured above) — broke free while being led to slaughter at Rhode Island Beef & Veal. Workers told NBC 10 News that a “wholesaler lost control of the 1,600-pound steer while unloading it for slaughter.” As of Friday night, it appears the steer is still at large.

Karaoke Uber driver Tho Xaykosy told the outlet he saw the steer at an intersection around 2 a.m.

“It was about 2 a.m. I was on my way to pick up a passenger, and I look to my left, and there was a cow there, just hanging out, waiting for the red light! When it turned green, the cow goes! I was like …” Xaykosy said.

He uploaded video of the scene, in which he said, “I thought I was seeing things at first. I must be tired, but no, that’s a cow for real.”

NBC 10 attempted to track the cow after residents reported seeing it:

It appears there may be some evidence that the cow at one point was making its way down the Woonasquatucket Greenway bike and pedestrian path.

There were no hoofprints that NBC 10 News could find, but this revelation came from Domingo Abreu of Providence, who walks an hour every day in the area.

He told NBC 10 News that “an old man asked me if I had seen a cow.”

Was he out looking for the cow?

“Yup,” said Domingo.

A couple of blocks from there: pay-dirt at Rhode Island Beef & Veal, which has the motto “We Meat Your Needs.”

The cow was later spotted in Providence, prompting police to call the Department of Environmental Management as well as animal control. Neither organization was able to capture and transport the cow, NBC 10 reported. Police followed the steer until it went into some woods.

The Providence Journal reported Friday night that the steer was still on the lam, with the Johnston police chief asking residents to report sightings so that it can be corralled. Police Chief Joseph Razza urged residents not to approach the steer themselves.

“Again, this is a 1500 pound wild animal and the public should not approach and please contact the appropriate jurisdiction if observed,” Razza said.

“I just don’t want to see anyone get hurt,” he added. “People need to respect nature.”

Though not as high-profile, the escaped steer is reminiscent of a 2015 incident in which two llamas escaped from an assisted living facility (they provided patient therapy). The hour-long quest to catch the llamas became national news as nearly every cable and national broadcaster showed footage of the llamas’ mad dash for freedom. AZ Central reported: “The dynamic duo — one black and one white — dodged cars, avoided lassos, and managed to launch their own Twitter account as they ran amok in the town northwest of Phoenix just before noon.”

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