The steaks are high in the hunt for a Rhode Island fugitive.
A large cow was seen wandering Johnston, R.I., miles from the nearest farm, apparently after it slipped away from a wholesaler who was unloading it at a slaughterhouse overnight Thursday.
The 1,600-pound steer was first spotted on a residential street in the neighborhood Thursday morning WPRI-TV reported. Police and Animal Control officials could not capture or transport the animal. They followed it to a wooded area, where it slipped out of sight.
Police confirmed that the cow escaped from Rhode Island Beef & Veal Inc., which declined to comment.
The animal was first spotted in Johnston, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of Providence, by Tho Xaykosy, an Uber driver.
“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!” Xaykosy told WJAR-TV. “I thought I was seeing things at first. I must be tired, but no, that’s a cow for real.”
Johnston Police Chief Joseph Razza appealed for help finding the animal, citing public safety dangers from the castrated steer. He said police were still looking but hadn’t found it or gotten any more calls about its location. “I just don’t want to see anyone get hurt,” he said, The Providence Journal reported. “People need to respect nature.”
Social media was littered with posts supporting the animal and offering to save it from slaughter.
“We need to make a lot of noise and let people know we’re fighting for him so they can join in and offer their support!” wrote Providence, R.I., resident Victoria Flores on the Rhode Island Vegan Awareness Facebook page. “He’s fighting so hard to be free!”
She said she contacted various sanctuaries in the region to try to help. Multiple comments to that post insisted, “We must save the cow!”
WJAR reported that Smokey Chestnut Farm Rescue in Norton, R.I., is offering to give the runaway cow a home, once he’s finally apprehended.