POCATELLO — Police fatally shot a 1,000-pound cow Friday afternoon that had led them on a lengthy chase through the city’s north side.
The heifer eventually died after being shot by a Pocatello police officer in the backyard of a residence at Henderson and Jessie Clark lanes around 1:30 p.m.
Police had shot the animal earlier in the pursuit but the wounded cow kept running.
Pocatello Police Chief Scott Marchand said the two shots his officers took at the cow were fired because of the safety risk the animal posed.
During the pursuit, the cow rammed a Pocatello animal control truck and two police cars in residential neighborhoods.
The heifer also nearly caused motor vehicle accidents on Hawthorne Road and had run through a playground. Police felt like the animal might trample someone as it charged through the residential neighborhoods on the city’s north side.
Marchand said he’s very thankful the pursuit ended with no injuries to people.
The incident began around 12:40 p.m. at Anderson Custom Pack, a meat processing business at Garrett Way and North Main Street. When an Anderson employee prepared to slaughter the cow, it jumped over a 6-foot fence and ran across Garrett Way and then north up Hawthorne Road.
Anderson employees dialed 911 and within minutes the cow was being pursued by Pocatello police and animal control units on Hawthorne.
Police officers and witnesses said that at one point the cow was running up the middle of Hawthorne Road, nearly causing accidents.
The cow eventually left Hawthorne and headed west on Quinn Road where it retreated to a resident’s backyard on the road’s south side.
A police officer then shot the cow in the head, but instead of succumbing, the animal bolted past the police cars that were supposed to block its path out of the yard. The cow crossed
to the north side of Quinn and ran through OK Ward Park.
With several police and animal control officers in pursuit on foot and in vehicles, the cow emerged onto Henderson Lane from the park and headed north.
Police and animal control officers spent the next several minutes chasing the cow on Henderson and adjoining streets.
They eventually cornered the cow in the backyard of a house at Henderson and Jessie Clark lanes. A police officer shot the cow again in the head, and this time the animal died instantly.
Several residents in the Henderson Lane area emerged from their houses because of the sound of the gunshot.
The damage to the police cars that were rammed by the cow during the chase was minimal. A side-view mirror on the animal control truck was destroyed when the vehicle was struck by the animal.
After the cow died, Anderson employees loaded it onto a truck and took it back to the meat processing business.