Runaway steer that evaded capture in Johnston for almost 2 months is finally off the streets

The 1,500 pound bovine escaped from a Johnston slaughterhouse in early February, and had been on the run since. Now, he’s back on the farm in Connecticut.

By: Tim Studebaker

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JOHNSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – A collective sigh of relief in Johnston on Friday: A 1,500-pound steer is finally off the streets after almost two months on the run.  He was caught on Pine Hill Ave.

Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena says, “The owner of the property called this Mr. Legend Lewis, that’s the gentleman who owns the farm in Connecticut, and he came down and he was able to corral or capture the cow and brought him back to Connecticut.”

The bovine made a run for it back in early February, escaping from a Johnston slaughterhouse, and had been roaming the streets around town ever since.

Polisena says, “About a week to 10 days ago, he was spotted, but by the time our police officers got there, he had outsmarted us, I guess.  He took off and was probably in the woods mooing at us, as they say, instead of laughing”

The town got more than 50 calls reporting sightings, some folks even snapping pictures.

Polisena says, “I don’t think he lost any weight, because the photos I saw, he was still big.  Put it this way, he didn’t look like he was on the Atkins diet.”

Jokes aside, the mayor says safety was their top concern while they worked to wrangle that runaway steer.

Polisena says, “Obviously, human life is first, so you worry about that.”

This isn’t the first time animals have taken to the streets of Johnston.  For several months in 2018, town officials chased after three fearless turkeys involved in several standoffs with drivers, even blocking traffic right outside Town Hall.  The mayor hopes this latest incident is their last.

Polisena says, “As long as it’s not going to be an alligator next, or something, you know?”

The mayor says while he knows the steer is back on that farm in Connecticut, its fate is, as of yet, unknown.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2021

Categories: News, Rhode Island