MASTIC, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A bull was spotted running through a Long Island neighborhood on Tuesday.

Yes, a bull.

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At one point, it even briefly shut down a stretch of a highway. It remains on the loose, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported.

Doorbell cameras across Mastic captured the stunning sight and priceless residents’ reactions. They couldn’t believe their eyes. The animal was too big to be a dog and too short to be a horse.

“All of a sudden, I look outside and I go, ‘Oh, a horse! A horse just went by,’ and I go, ‘No, it’s a cow!'” resident Deborah Popp said.

But, indeed, it was a bull and its excursion prompted Suffolk County police to send out a code red alert cautioning residents to say home, while officers joined wildlife rescuers in what you could say was a wild bull chase.

“The most important thing is to make sure that no human beings get hurt during the course of this rescue. That’s really our main objective. This thing is, from what I understand, over a 1,000-pound bull and it could run into traffic and it could kill somebody,” said Lisa Jaeger of Jaeger Animal Wildlife Rescue.

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Armed with tranquilizer guns, they searched the woods and roads of Mastic and Shirley, turning up fresh tracks amid continued sightings.

“I look in my rearview mirror and all of a sudden I’m like, ‘There is a bull running down the street!'” Mastic resident Jeannine Bramer said.

Suffolk police said the 1,500-pound bull escaped from a Manorville farm by breaking through a fence. Customers called it a slaughterhouse busy with Muslims practicing the ritual of livestock sacrifice in observance of the holiday Eid.

“We have to slaughter cows. It’s like a festival. We eat it with the family,” said Shiful Islam of Brooklyn.

Animal rights activists joined the search, sealing a deal with the owner that when found, the bull on the run will be given to a sanctuary, its life spared.

“He was scheduled to be slaughtered for animal sacrifice today. There is no need to kill an animal for sacrifice. He is terrified. He is running for his life right now just like you or I would if someone was trying to murder us,” said John DiLeonardo, president of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature.

Suffolk police and the rescue groups said they will continue to search until the bull is found, for everyone’s safety.

Anyone who sees the animal is urged to use caution and call 911.

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Check back with CBS2, CBSN New York and CBSNewYork.com for more on this developing story.

Carolyn Gusoff