Cow Jailbreaks and Bovine Folklore

January 2016:  A steer in NYC flees the market and runs through traffic, past stores, and many people recording the incident on smart phones. 

Great Escapes
When it comes to bovine folklore, Yvonne the German cow is still our favorite (see below). But new adventures are added periodically–and the “happily ever after” ending of these stories depends on perspective. Some end with an animal frolicking in the pasture–some with the smell of steak on the barbie.

The latest episode has mixed results so far. Four Idaho cows escaped from a meat processing facility, leading Pocatello police on a chase through the city’s streets. Latest updates indicate that one returned, two are still on the loose, and one was shot. Some think the cows had outside accomplices.

Last year, a cow on the way to the meatpacking plant escaped to the roof of a transport trailer and cruised U.S. Hwy. 50 with a semblance of freedom—for a while.  

Cattle Ready for Hollywood Scripts

Some livestock have their own type of Shawshank Redemption. Animals—including cows, sheep, goats, and chickens—that escape New York City’s urban slaughter markets are given a second life at the Farm Sanctuary, which has taken in more than 500 farm animals from the city in the last decade.
Two years ago, Mike the Steer from New Jersey escaped from a slaughterhouse, forded a river, and negotiated the streets of New York. He was granted clemency, and we assume he is peacefully chewing his cud at an upstate farm.

Yvonne (left) gets a nose bump from her son 
The legend of Yvonne the Gutsy German Guernsey has a bit more “Mad Cow” quality to it. After she jumped an electric fence, Yvonne survived in the woods for three months: In that time, she had a near collision with a police car, evaded a helicopter search, survived a brief shoot-to-kill order, and inspired a hit song in Germany titled “Don’t Let Them Take Your Freedom.”
Capture hasn’t diminished her fame.  Apparently Yvonne’s story will get the Hollywood treatment from a German production crew, with an animated film called Cow on the Run.

Most feeder cattle aren’t going to attain superstar status. They’re going to end up on the grill. But you can’t blame a cow for trying. 

by dan gogerty (top photo from, bottom photo from

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