Runaway animals pose challenge in urban settings
NEW YORK — Is there cowboy in the house?
They could use one in NewYorkCity, where cattle have escaped from urban slaughterhouses three times in the past 13 months on wild runs through the streets.
One bull led a posse of cops last week on a chase through Queens that was televised live fromhovering news helicopters. Police ultimately cornered the bull , but the animal, hit by multiple tranquilizer darts, died shortly thereafter.
Real bull-wrangling experts say the officers can be commended for trying their best, but there’s definitely a betterway.
They say stick with rope, try approaching by horse oronfootandskip the tranquilizer guns, or at least fire fewer shots.
“You load a horse on a trailer and you go find the bull and rope the bull and put it in the trailer,” says Parke Greeson, a cowboy from Lubbock, Texas. “It’s just like getting dressed and putting your shoes on. You just do it.”
Unfortunately, there were no cowboys on hand to help New York City police capture a bull that broke out of a slaughterhouse in Queens’ Jamaica neighborhood.
Tranquilizer darts appeared to have little effect— until the end.
“The officers were trying todowhatthey’re supposed to do — protect people, not cattle— but they did a lot of things wrong,” said Susie Coston, director of theFarm Sanctuary in upstate New York, whichworks with the city to adopt runaway or homeless animals.
For one thing, she said, the officers could have backed off for a bit to let the sedatives take effect.
“They chased the bull while firing one dart after another, so the animal’s adrenaline shoots up and there’s no chance for the tranquilizer to work and calm him down,” she said.
Lt. John Grimpel, an NYPDspokesman, said that while the department’s Emergency Service Unit “is highly trained in the use of tranquilizer guns,” that does not include a specific protocol for firing tranquilizer darts to contain large animals.