The citizens of downtown Billings, Montana were forced to dodge a rampaging cow Thursday. The cow, that had escaped from the nearby auction yard, charged pedestrians, knocked over a cyclist and attempted to hurdle a responding police car.
The Billings Gazette reports the 1,200-pound black Angus made her escape from the Public Auction Yards while workers were unloading cattle a little before 3 p.m. Police were called to the scene and chased the runaway cow through the downtown streets for nearly two hours.
Unable to apprehend the cow, police contacted Montana Fish and Wildlife Parks and requested assistance. Bob Gibson, communication and education program manager for Fish and Wildlife Parks, said they could not respond to the scene because they would not be able to get there quick enough. According to the Billings Gazette, Gibson issued a statement saying: “It’s not like we just go to the cupboard and pull out a dart gun and shoot." There are different drugs, concentrations and quantities that are all considerations when darting animals. Wardens do a lot of studying and environmental assessment ahead of time when tranquilizing an animal,"
Morgan Logan, a local construction worker, saw police trying to corral the cow. Familiar with livestock, he offered to assist police, a decision he would later regret. The Reporter quotes Logan as saying: "I've been around livestock my whole life, so at first sight I thought it was pretty funny seeing cops chase a cow down the street." "But she was like a bull at a rodeo."
The cow charged at Logan, striking him. “I couldn’t believe how fast she came out from under the tree. I guess I saw her too late because the next thing I knew I was in the air. I had no fence to climb — she caught me right in the open," Logan told the Billings Gazette.
Logan was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare were he was treated and released with sore ribs and broken tibia and fibula bones in his leg.
The Reporter quotes a bystander who watched the impromptu downtown rodeo as saying: "The way the cow was snarling and scuffing, at first I thought it was a bull without horns," Burg said. "It was total chaos. At one point, I saw the cow tip over a man who was on a bicycle in South Park."
They also quote Billings police Lt. Kevin Iffland as saying "It's not like we are out in the pasture." This was a totally different scenario of asphalt and a lot of traffic. We are not equipped to wrangle large animals in a city environment."
Because the cow had already injured one person and continued to pose a danger of injury to others, a police marksman was called in to put the animal down.