Run­away an­i­mals pose chal­lenge in ur­ban set­tings

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - NATION & WORLD - By Ver­ena Dob­nik As­so­ci­ated Press

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.

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