Urban cowboy lassos bull after 10-hour chase in New Jersey

Saturday, November 4, 2006


The Associated Press

NEWARK, N.J. -- It took an urban cowboy from the farms of South Africa to corral and lasso a 600-pound bull running loose Friday in the streets of New Jersey's largest city.

For Denton Infield, now an animal control officer, rounding up wayward cattle was second nature, even if the scene was not.

Officers chased the bull for 10 hours through the streets of Newark -- at one point, it took a turn toward downtown -- before Infield final got close enough early Friday to corral it in the parking lot of a tool and die shop. There, the bull was tranquilized and eventually drifted off to sleep as the rush-hour traffic snarled.

The bull was corralled less than a mile from Newark Liberty International Airport, about eight miles from New York City.

It was the second time in as many years that wayward cattle were caught wandering around Newark. In May 2004, a steer escaped from a slaughterhouse and was eventually taken to a farm sanctuary.

Infield, a manager with the Associated Humane Societies' Newark office, said the bull caught Friday likely escaped from a slaughterhouse or fell off a truck bound for one.

The 3-year-old mixed breed bull had an auction tag affixed to its back, indicating it wasn't far from The Final Roundup.

The bull was first spotted at 10 p.m. Thursday, running up and down an industrial street leading to Newark's heavily populated downtown. Police shooed onlookers away and blocked off streets to keep vehicles away from the animal, which managed to elude its pursuers until Friday morning.

"He was jumping over air conditioning units and over small fences," Infield said. "He was a little wild."

Infield finally chased the bull into the empty parking lot, where he tossed a rope around its neck and nudged it close enough for a second animal control officer to jab it with a tranquilizer syringe.

Authorities called in a trailer from Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey Township, a refuge for abused or unwanted animals that is operated by the Humane Societies. Infield said the bull would be taken there to live out the rest of its life.

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