An 1,800-pound steer moments away from the slaughterhouse at a North Dakota processing plant kicked open a gate, escaped capture and ran amuck around town for a while before ending up, days later, 1,000 miles away at an animal shelter near Ann Arbor.
The steer was captured in the North Dakota town of Cassleton, where the processing plant is located, after veterinarians used a tranquilizer to calm him, The Ann Arbor News/Live reports.
Stories about the rogue steer’s travels spread quickly, and an animal activist organization in Chicago intervened. That’s how the animal, which has now been named Fargo, ended up at SASHA Farm, a sanctuary for abused and runaway animals the husband-and-wife team of Dorothy Davies and Monte Jackson operate in Manchester, southwest of Ann Arbor.
“It was a funny story to hear about how he got away, but my husband Monte went out to North Dakota to pick it up shortly after we got the call from the folks in Chicago,” Davies said.
Before bringing Fargo to Michigan, he stopped at a truck stop near Chicago to introduce the steer to its rescuers. The activist group, which has not been identified, has made arrangements to pay the farmer for the steer, the newspaper said.
Fargo was briefly known as “Waldo” – as in the “Where’s Waldo?” series of children’s books created by British illustrator Martin Handford – before he arrived at SASHA Farms, where he will live out his days.
Fargo, Meet Jefferson and Moo
If Fargo remains healthy, he could live for another 20 years. He’ll have some company with another steer that escaped the slaughterhouse.
Jackson said Fargo and Jefferson, who escaped the bovine equivalent of death row in Detroit a decade ago and was captured on Jefferson Avenue, are hitting it off well. Another escaped bovine, Moo, foraged through people’s vegetable gardens for about six months after breaking free from Long Island, NY.
Jackson said Fargo “wanted to be free, and now he will be free.”
The sanctuary is also home to a – wait for it – lamb that was on the lam for a time after liberating itself from the back of a pickup that was parked a restaurant called – wait for it again – the Ram’s Horn.