Residents of Rehoboth are on the lookout for a 300-pound calf that escaped from a farm and has been spotted gallivanting around town.
Animal Control Officer Jane Foster said the animal escaped Monday from a farm on Wood Street.
“Everybody and their brother said they saw him running down the street,” Foster said.
She said she got a call Tuesday that the young bull was seen on Water Street, but by the time she arrived the animal had run into a thicket.
“I’ve never seen the beast,” Foster said. “I’m just told to go out there and find it. When it runs in front of me, I’ll know that’s the one I’m looking for.”
She said she did not receive any calls about a calf sighting today, but she is confident the animal will be OK — as long as it avoids cars.
“He’s just scared,” Foster said. “The only thing is, we don’t want him to go into the road, but we can’t tell him that because he won’t listen.”
She said drivers will definitely see the animal coming because of its size.
“If you’re paying attention, you shouldn’t hit him,” she said. “You just have to be careful.”
She said the calf is not a threat to people because he runs away as soon as he sees anyone. She said cows eat grass and drink water, both of which he should be able to find on his own.
Foster said older cows that escape often approach people, especially if the people have food.
“Being so young, he’s not programmed to know that we are here to help him,” she said. “He’s going to stay away from people and hopefully he’ll get acclimated and then we can catch him.”
She said that since Rehoboth residents have the right to farm, animals are common, and escapes usually end well.
“We’ve had them loose time and time again,” she said. “They run their course, and then the farmer is able to snag them and bring them home, and then it’s a happy ending.”
Foster said the bull’s owner has other animals, including a second calf, but all are safe and secure. She said the farmer has been diligent in the search for his young cow.
“Every time he gets a call, he goes out there looking,” she said.
Foster said the calf will soon get tired of running and will likely seek out other herding animals, such as cows or horses.
“They don’t like to be alone,” she said. “Hopefully he’ll just come up to another farm and hang out with other cows.”Melissa Werthmann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.