A runaway bull from Long Island spent more than two months on the lam before being caught again on the same farm he escaped from.
Barney, as the bull is called, was headed for the slaughterhouse. Then he broke free from a former duck farm in Moriches on the eve of his execution date, the New York Post reports. The bull broke through a fence on Barnes Road on July 20.
But on Wednesday night, Barney wandered back to the farm. He was enticed by some food left out as bait.
Bull Gets a Second Chance at Life
Barney made his way back to the farm thanks to Mike Stura. Stura is the owner of the Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue in Wantage, New Jersey. Stura and his crew set up a corral and a feeder attached to a head-locking device. The goal: to get the bull to come back, and to catch him when he did.
Once he’d caught Barney, Stura pulled him into his trailer with a rope. Then he carted him over to the sanctuary, a 232-acre farm, so he can live into old age with his fellow rescued animals.
“It’s a beautiful ending to something that could have ended badly,” Suffolk County ASPCA Chief Roy Gross told the Post.
Stura has decided to change the bull’s name. Instead of Barney, which derives from the road where he escaped, he’ll call him Bully Joel, a tribute to the famous Long Island-raised singer.
Barney Was a Tough Animal to Hunt Down
Gross said he and Stura were concerned that in the midst of hunting season, someone would shoot the escaped bull – not exactly a humane end. Barney, who weighs in at 1,500 pounds, had evaded cops and animal rescue workers alike, leaving a trail of excrement and markings as he made his way through the Long Island suburbs.
Suffolk County police tried everything to pin Barney down. They embarked on helicopter and drone searches. They put up digital signs along the highway to ask drivers to watch out for Barney. And they even got a cow in heat named Norma Jean to trot around near the woods where Barney was hiding. But no dice.
“To catch him, a tranquilizer gun would have worked but we could have ended up killing it. Or it could have run onto a road and caused a fatality,” Gross said. “This is the best possible outcome.”