MASTIC, NY – Forget the running of the bulls, call it the running of the humans.
A bull that escaped from a Manorville farm on Tuesday was still at large in a Long Island nature reserve Wednesday night.
The wayward cattle were last seen in the woods Tuesday night. The Suffolk County Police Department turned the search efforts over to animal rescue groups, a spokeswoman said, but the recovery effort proved difficult for them.
The reserve contains grass for the bull of about 1,500 pounds to eat and a stream for it to drink, said anthropozoologist John DiLeonardo of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature.
“Right now he has everything he needs,” he said.
The bull was supposed to be slaughtered for a religious rite, but it will now be taken to an animal sanctuary in New Jersey to live out its days after its capture.
Animal welfare advocates brought a menstruating cow in hopes the scent would attract the bull to the farm, where they had a net launcher and dart gun to calm the animal.
“Let’s offer [the bull] some sex and see if that works, ”DiLeonardo joked.
But the cow’s Marilyn Monoroe – “Norma Jean” – did not move the bull, which seemed to dig its hooves.
The bull showed signs of fear and distress on Wednesday night as rescuers could hear him moaning in the dark because he was likely scared and lonely, according to DiLeonardo.
“[The bull] had a tough day yesterday, ”said DiLeonardo, explaining that bulls are“ not made to be alone.
“He probably needs friends. The animals in the herd need to be with other animals in the herd.”
Suffolk Police received the first report of the bull crossing Montgomery Avenue in Mastic at around 8:20 a.m. Tuesday.
At 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, rescue groups including LION, Jaeger’s Run Animal Rescue and Strong Island Animal Rescue had been trying to beat the bull for about 33 hours. They used a drone and an infrared camera and plan to set up bait stations on Thursday morning.
Ant, they also had a net launcher handy.
“We’re going to stop racing because it’s a good area,” said DiLeonardo. “We don’t want to drive [the bull] to the highway. We don’t want somebody to shoot [it]. “
Rescuers asked the public to stay away from the site.
The head of the Suffolk Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Roy Gross, who called the atmosphere “circus” in a previous interview, had no qualms about it being too crowded and asked to the curious to “withdraw”.
“This animal knows we’re here,” he said. “So standing over here and walking in the fields, [bull] will just keep running. “
He went on to say that there was no danger of the animal crossing the Sunrise Highway unless it was being chased.
“He’s been through a major ordeal before,” he said. “He knew he was going to be killed. Obviously they can smell it. He went through a fence to escape. He’s been chased since yesterday.”
“He was running for his life,” added DiLeonardo.
Dr Dennis Dougherty, a Bayport veterinarian who works with the SPCA, said he has worked with the SPCA on escaped cattle cases before and knows the techniques that work best.
“When you have a scared animal, [it] is not going to approach people, “he said, adding that everything should be” calmed down “for the animal to be relaxed, which will make it easier to seduce.
The corn and grain will be deposited as a sweet treat to whet the bull’s appetite and capture it, but it is possible that it will not eat if it is stressed, Dougherty said.
A police spokeswoman said the department would keep in touch with the organizations and answer all 911 calls with information on the location of the bull, according to a police spokesperson.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.