OTD: Sheriff warns residents to steer clear of bovines on the loose

Thursday, January 4, 2018 - 7:16pm

A situation the Detroit Free Press initially reported as a single missing cow roaming around northeast Ann Arbor is actually significantly more dangerous than previously thought. Derrick Jackson, the director of community engagement for the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office, confirmed the animal at large Thursday afternoon was not just one cow, but two steer –– the beefier, male counterpart of the cow. 

"They are both around 1,500 pounds apiece –– both fairly aggressive," Jackson said. "And really why we put the message out was to let people know that we're in the area looking for the two steer.  But if you see it, definitely don't approach thinking it's just a cow that's harmless, because they're very large, and could be pretty dangerous."

The two steer escaped while being transported in a trailer by their owners. When the vehicle stopped, the trailer door –– which had not been properly secured –– swung open.

"The steer literally just walked off the trailer," Jackson said. "And they were near some residential areas, so we initially got quite a few calls just from neighbors and drivers and passerby saying, 'Hey, there are these two very large cows kind of roaming the area.'"

After the owners were located, they informed deputies it would be too difficult to corral and recapture the steer, and requested instead they put them down. A few hours after the sheriff's office initially reported the situation at 1:36 p.m., Jackson confirmed deputies had located and killed one of the steers. As of the time of this report, the other remains on the lam.