No fewer than three different news reports concerned farm animals giving their owners the slip this past weekend:
1. Slaughterhouse Cow Makes a Dash for It
First, there was the capture of Floss, a Highland cow who had been on the run from the slaughterhouse for nine months. The cow, nicknamed the Beast of Ealand, escaped from her owners while being unloaded for market in Thirsk, North York. While cows aren't typically nocturnal, Floss would come out to feed only at night, laying low in ditches and dykes during the day to avoid people, and she ultimately journeyed 60 miles away from her home. It was a harrowing trip: Floss was chased by quad bikes, nearly run over several times, and frightened by poachers taking pot shots at her.
But the story ends well for the rogue cow: She's been purchased for Â£500 and carted off to an animal sanctuary, where she can live out the rest of her natural days frolicking on the hillside and munching on hay with other Highland cows.
2. Marine Called in to Bring in Pig
In Cliftonville, a Kent seaside town, police were called in to catch a runaway pig. Pepper, a large black pig, was ultimately cornered in an alleyway by a police officer and former Royal Marine. Pepper had only been on the run for an evening, ever since someone had broken into his shed and let him out. He wasn't particularly aggressive, but his bulk intimidated several of the other officers. Thankfully, he was returned to his owners the next day, after spending the night in police custody.
3. Tasering Animals into Submission
Not all animals on the lam have had such luck: Police in Hertfordshire shot and killed a runaway bull who was menacing an empty playing field this weekend. According to police, the bull, who caused chaos on a nearby roadway before entering the field, was in such an agitated state and posed such a threat to public safety that they had no choice but to shoot it. Sadly, this isn't the first time that runaway animals have run dangerously afoul of the law. Officers in North Wales came under fire last October after they Tasered a runaway ram in the roadway. The ram, since named "Sparky," survived the ordeal with little damage, but people who witnessed the police-on-sheep brutality made several complaints to the local constabulary and to animal protection agencies.