Friday, June 15, 2007

Runaway cow — still on the moo-ve

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey
This is not a joke, nor is it some story that I made up! This story has been on-going in our little local newspaper. I thought my readers would enjoy it. Here is last week’s installment, typed word for word from the article in the West Milford Messenger.

WEST MILFORD-The cow that won’t go home is still on the run in the woods of West Milford. As of 10:00 a.m. Thursday, the escaped bovine is still free and roaming the dense forested areas evading the best attempts to locate and apprehend her.

Bodacious Bovine, as she is now called, is starting to make quite a name for herself as growing numbers of searches are made to recapture her.

On May 6 two dozen cows were brought down from Monticello, N.Y., to West Milford Equestrian Center to participate in a roping event. Twenty-three of those animals went back home happy, but one must have liked the look of the town because she leapt a fence. Ella Mae Battipaglia, co-owner of the equestrian center said. “We just can’t catch her.”

There have been numerous sightings of the cow near Union Valley, Gould, and Echo Lake Roads with suggestions that the animal is gaining weight in its free and meandering walk in the woods. It also appears to be adopting nocturnal instincts. “She’s only coming out at night,” said Battipaglia, “Even though we’ve had many sightings of the cow, she is too deep into the forest for us to get to her.”

She is blackish-brown with a large number zero around her neck.

With no apparent wish to be reunited with its owner on the cow’s part, a team of riders and cattle dogs were called in on Tuesday. Jay Rubin, of the Monticello farm the cow formerly called home, organized the search party but so far they have been unable to pin her down.

A new approach might be in the works. “We might have to set up more of a capture plan,” said Battipaglia, “Maybe using containment rather than actually catching her.”

Further rescue attempts were planned for Thursday afternoon and Battipaglia said, “She is starting to appear closer to the equestrian center so that is a good sign.” Moosic to the ears of those pursuing her.

And, in yesterday’s paper the headline reads:

Sightings of the elusive cow roaming around West Milford roll in like reports of Bigfoot, but so far she remains on the loose.

The black cow that escaped from a pen during a May 6 event at the West Milford Equestrian Center has drawn the attention of media outlets and county authorities.

The heifer, which the Equestrian Center rented from a New York livestock supplier, was to be used in an equestrian penning competition. Not wanting to be told where to go, she escaped into spring air and has been roaming free and feasting on greenery for over a month.

Mounted on horses, employees of Echo Lake Stables led by a mounted deputy from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department led a search on the afternoon of Thursday, May 31, until daylight gave the cow ample cover and the search was called off. The cow was not spotted.

“Just after we loaded the last horse in, she popped out,” Echo Lake Stables co-owner Kathy Leaver said. “And we covered quite a bit of territory (on May 31).”

Stable employees and volunteers who board their horses at the facility have been joining in the search two or three times a week, Leaver said, whenever police alert John Macellaro, the mounted deputy and stable’s other owner, to a sighting.

The cow was seen on Friday morning, drawing workers at the Equestrian Center out on foot armed with a tranquilizer gun that would make her drowsy enough to get her tied up.

NBC’s New York affiliate Channel 4 was also interested and joined the searchers last week.

“She’s tough,” Frank Battipaglia, owner of the equestrian center said last week. “But we’re trying to catch her.” Battipaglia said the bovine was also spotted on Union Valley Road on Memorial Day and then the next day, but no one was able to get close enough to restrain it.

Despite rumors circulating around the township that the cow’s journey had come to a tragic ending, as of Monday, June 11, the cow was still alive and had not been caught, as far as police and staff at the equestrian center knew.

As a matter of fact, she might have made a friend, Ella Mae Battipaglia, owner, said. Police called the equestrian center on Friday, June 8 to let staffers know that there had been another spotting. When Frank Battipaglia, owner, saw the cow, he spotted it running with a bear, Ella Mae said, and neither was chasing the other. When the two were aware that they had been spotted, they diverted and disappeared, she said. “It’s weird.”

Anyone who spots the black cow is asked to contact the West Milford Equestrian Center.

—End of newspaper article.—

Oh dear. Can cows mate with bears? Bruno, you bad boy! Are you leading this poor cow astray??


Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved once again, this time to North Carolina. Here I write about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2023 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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