Freddie The Cow Escapes Slaughterhouse, Trots Around Queens, And Captures Hearts

In the country, the site of an escaped cow bolting down the road and towards freedom is not an odd sight. But in New York City, it’s not something you see every day.

On Thursday, a brown and white cow — now named Freddie Mercury — escaped the slaughterhouse, where it was due to be butchered Friday, and took to the streets of the Big Apple in search of a nice patch of grass, ABC News reported.

Of course, plenty of people snapped pictures and took video of the escaped cow trotting down the street, past stores and restaurants, The New York Times reported. So not only has he escaped death at the slaughterhouse, he’s also become a viral sensation and captured the hearts of vegetarians and animal lovers everywhere.

It’s not clear whether the cow is a male or female; news reports used the male pronoun, but also alternately called the creature a heifer, which is a young female, and a steer, which is a male.

According to CBS New York, the mayhem began on Thursday when the cow arrived in the city from upstate. He’d been purchased by a local family for the meat, and was destined for the slaughterhouse.

Azan Kahn of the Jamaica-Archer Halal Live Poultry and Meat Market said Freddie was being transferred from a trailer when he took his shot and ran for it. Police officers sprung into action.

During rush hour traffic, he ran through Queens for 30 minutes; police had to shut down several streets to capture the bovine safely. His flight from the slaughterhouse came to an end in a parking garage, where the escaped cow was cornered and captured.

Meanwhile, a man named Mike Stura, who runs the Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in Wantage, N.J., sprung into action, too. He didn’t want this cow to be killed and turned into hamburger, after all the trouble he took to break out of the slaughterhouse. He heard about the escaped cow’s story on Facebook, hooked up his trailer, and headed for the city.

At one point, Stura called the market’s owner to convince the guy to give up the cow, but “they didn’t want to hear about it, but I said I’m about an hour into the ride so far, so I’m going to come out anyway.”

He got stuck in traffic and didn’t arrive at the market until after it had been shuttered for the day. Determined, Mike slept in his truck and in the morning, argued a convincing case to the person who’d purchased the heifer/steer for meat.

Mike told him he wanted to give him a good life at his sanctuary, and eventually, the owner agreed to let Freddie live. So instead of the slaughterhouse, this animal “rode through rush-hour traffic in a trailer, then visited a veterinarian, before arriving at a farm,” The Times wrote.

After been named Freddie Mercury in honor of the cow’s flight through Queens, Mike took him to a vet, who declared him perfectly healthy except for an injury to his eye.

“He’ll be in quarantine for the next two weeks, and then he will get integrated into the group and meet the other kids, and hopefully live a nice long life here — 20-something years is the goal.”

Donations are streaming in to pay for his care.

The sanctuary is currently home to 18 other cows. Freddie is still pretty young at only a year old, and when he’s full grown, will be 2,600 pounds. It’s a remarkable reversal of fortune for the creature, who was facing the end of his days at the slaughterhouse, but will now spend the rest of his life helping to give educational tours.

He and the other animals at the sanctuary — cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, goats, ducks, geese, and turkeys — are never used for food. According to NJ, Skylands offers lifelong homes to the animals.

“This cow’s daring bid for freedom can and should be rewarded with retirement at a sanctuary where the animal will never be hacked apart for brisket or burgers,” said Colleen O’Brien, a spokesperson for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

[Photo By E. O./Shutterstock]

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