WANTAGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A cow that captured everybody’s hearts with its daring escape from a Queens slaughterhouse is getting a second chance at life.
New Jersey’s Skylands Animal Sanctuary And Rescue was able to save the cow late Thursday, hours before the animal was set to be slaughtered.
“He’ll be in quarantine for the next two weeks, and then he will get integrated into the group and meet the other kids, and hopefully live a nice long life here — 20-something years is the goal,” sanctuary founder Mike Stura told 1010 WINS.
The bovine bolted from the Jamaica-Archer Halal Live Poultry and Meat Market early Thursday afternoon, sending police officers on a wild chase.
Azan Kahn said the cow had been delivered from Upstate New York, and was being transferred from a trailer when he got loose.
“He just run away. That’s it,” Kahn said.
As CBS2’s Sonia Rincon reported, when Stura heard about the escape from the live meat market, he sprang into action.
“You just hop in the truck and take the trailer and go,” he said.
Stura got on the phone with the market’s owner.
“I was trying to pitch the idea of getting him to give him to me, and he seemed receptive at first,” Stura said.
But a family had already paid for the steer.
“They didn’t want to hear about it, but I said I’m about an hour into the ride so far, so I’m going to come out anyway,” he said.
Stura got stuck in traffic and got to the market after it was closed.
He spent the night in his truck and in the morning he successfully convinced the reluctant owner that Freddie deserved to be free.
The cow was named for Freddie Mercury, because he came from Queens, and sings…well “moos.”
Freddie has already been checked out by a vet. Other than a small injury to his eye he’s healthy, but he’s only about a year old, so he still has a lot of growing left to do. When Freddie is full grown he could reach 2,600-lbs.
The sanctuary is used for educational tours. The animals there are never used for food.
Stura said in the end he didn’t have to pay any money. Donations have been coming in to help with Freddie’s care.
Dashcam video of the escape posted to Twitter showed the Freddie running through the intersection at 164th Street and Jamaica Avenue.
Several streets were closed down as police tried to safely capture him.
Cops finally cornered Freddie back at a parking garage on Archer Ave and 165th Street.
Police reported no injuries.