Thursday, February 21, 2002

Runaway cow spotted again in park

By Randy Tucker
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The cow making headlines for its daring escape from certain death at a Camp Washington meat company was spotted Wednesday in Mount Storm Park in Clifton.

        But authorities were unable to corral the bovine fugitive in a heavily wooded section of the park between Interstate 75 and Lafayette Avenue in Clifton.

        The animal apparently has been hiding in the park for several days.

        “At one point they (Hamilton County SPCA deputies) got within 30 yards of him, but they couldn't tranquilize him because the woods are so thick they couldn't get close enough,” said Cincinnati Police Lt. Kurt Byrd.

        A Hamilton County Sheriff's helicopter was brought in to help guide those trying to capture the 1,500 pound, cream-and-brown-colored cow, which got away Friday morning from Ken Meyer Meats.

        But tracking him wasn't the problem. “Anytime humans get remotely close to him, he smells them or sees them coming and takes off again,” Lt. Byrd said.

        The search was called off when severe weather passed through the area. The search will resume when the cow is sighted again, Lt. Byrd said.

        He said capturing the errant cow isn't critical at this point because it's not close enough to the freeway to wander into traffic and cause an accident.

        “Right now, we're looking at the situation as if time is on our side,” Lt. Byrd said. “As long as he's not getting close to the freeway, he's not posing a problem.”

        Onlookers trying to spot the cow Wednesday from the road circling the park expressed their hopes that the beast would be allowed to live.

        “He deserves his freedom after all this,” said Mike Jelus of Anderson Township, who was jogging through the park Wednesday. “After all, he's got a better track record than the Bengals.”

        The cow has received an outpouring of support from residents; animal rights groups; a rancher who has offered to adopt it; Fifth Third Bank, which wants to use it as a mascot; and even the mayor's office.

        Mayor Charlie Luken said during a radio interview Wednesday that he would give the animal the key to the city once it's captured.

        His press aide said he wasn't joking.


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