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Cow escapes cattle truck to slaughterhouse, then gives birth two days later

The very pregnant cow escaped the cattle truck in the middle of the night in New Jersey on Thursday. Two days later, she gave birth to a calf at an animal sanctuary.
Credit: Courtesy of Stephen Thomas
A cow got loose from a cattle truck and was found running across Route 80 in Paterson.

BERGEN COUNTY, New Jersey — After a cow escaped a cattle truck en route to a slaughter house, she gave birth to a calf on Saturday, according to an animal rescue facility.

Winter was born Saturday at 1:30 p.m., the Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue said on its Facebook page Sunday along with a video of the birth. Her weight was not available.

"She's beautiful," Mike Stura, the founder of the Wantage sanctuary, said about Winter. "She ended up safe. It's fortunate."

On Thursday, around 2:41 a.m., Winter’s mother, later named Brianna, escaped a cattle truck on Route 80 as it was traveling to a slaughterhouse. Almost all the on-duty officers in the area responded to a call for an injured cow and coaxed Brianna across Route 80 as seen in video from the day.

One state trooper tried to hold the cow, but it didn't exactly go as planned, said Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale.

"He tried to get around it and hold it, and then he's riding it like a bull down Route 80," Speziale said.

Speziale said Brianna had kicked open the door of the trailer and jumped onto the highway.

The attempt to get the cow back over the guardrail was caught on tape, and police officers could be seen trying to move the cow. Police ended up using a tow strap after officer Brian Culmone's failed attempt to rope the cow and hold on to her.

Speziale said he could understand why so many officers were dispatched to the scene in an effort to protect the public.

"That cow's at least 1,000 pounds," he said. "We could have had a major accident."

The police director said he is grateful that no one was hurt or killed and that the cow was removed from the roadway.

The cow was hitched to the back of the tow truck to get her moving before Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in Wantage took her to a veterinarian and took her in.