Social media reports of a loose cow in New York City sent Twitter into a frenzy Tuesday morning. The cow was recaptured just a few hours after it escaped, and its ultimate fate should be decided sometime in the near future. Although this has actually happened twice before in just over a year, the incongruity of a cow running through the streets of New York never really gets old.
City authorities are still trying to figure out where the cow came from and how it escaped, but it was first spotted on the streets of New York around 10:00 a.m. ET. Pedestrians and drivers captured the cow running through traffic and down roads at first, then local new stations filled in with aerial coverage. The Jamaica, Queens area is predominantly residential, so the cow gravitated towards a grassy backyard where it became trapped. Around 12:20 p.m. ET, authorities appeared to have surrounded and sedated the cow. ABC News affiliate station WABC reported that the cow will be saved from slaughter and go to live at Skylands Animal Sanctuary in New Jersey.
Some of the social media jokes in response to CowGate got pretty real, with references to police violence against minorities and Donald Trump's xenophobic policies. Other users commented on the bifurcated appearance of their Twitter timelines. "My feed is nothing but cow puns and Milo [Yiannopoulos]. So I assume the 6th seal is broken," said one commentator.
Many cow spectators chose to leave all political references out and just go for some good, old fashioned puns. "How common is it for a cow to be out walking around in Queens? Probably about medium rare," said another user.
This is actually the third loose cow in New York in the last 14 months. In January 2016, a bull escaped from a Halal slaughterhouse in the Jamaica, Queens area and wandered around for a few hours before being herded and returned to its owners. The cow's 15 minutes of fame bought him a reprieve from his scheduled slaughtering — although its owners initially promised that the cow would still be killed the day after its escape, they ended up giving the cow to animal lover Mike Stura for free. Stura took the cow to his farm in New Jersey and named it Freddie after the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.
The second cow, which escaped in April of last year, fared a much better fate. It also escaped shortly before it was scheduled to be slaughtered, but comedian Jon Stewart was able to spare it from death. Stewart, a prominent animal rights activist, rescued the cow from its former owners and transferred it to his farm upstate in Watkins Glen, New York (and that's not just a euphemism).
EscapedCow2017 was the perfect lighthearted news story to snap out of the post-long weekend blues. Plus, it's nice to see some news every once in a while that doesn't make you feel like tearing your hair out.