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Tracy Frank, Published March 06 2014

Escaped cow captured in Casselton, N.D.

CASSELTON, N.D. – On one of the nicest days of the year, Central Cass Elementary School kept its students inside for early recess and at least one child care center here refrained from taking its morning walk.

That’s because a cow had been spotted wandering through people’s backyards.

Kelly Everson and Nichole Bye, owners of Future Stars Daycare and Preschool in Casselton, were about to take their kids on a walk when they received a text message from a mom who teaches in the Central Cass School District saying there was a cow on the loose.

A short time later, they saw the steer across the street from their home-based child care.

“All the kids were watching it,” Bye said. “They were so excited.”

“They were mooing,” Everson said. “I think they thought if they mooed, it would come here.”

Karen Kost, who owns and operates Karen’s Kid Kare from her home in Casselton, hadn’t heard about the escaped cow until she’d already taken her children for their walk.

The youngsters were excited to see him and to watch him from the windows after they returned to Kost’s home, but the episode forced Kost to answer some questions she doesn’t typically have to deal with.

The cow was bleeding from his back hindquarter, where he had been shot with a tranquilizer. Once the children saw the blood, Kost pulled them away from the windows. They kept asking why the cow had been shot. She tried explaining that meat comes from animals, but it didn’t quell their questions.

“This is going to cause a lot more questions than answers, I’m afraid,” Kost said.

Chris Bastian, Central Cass Elementary School principal, said the school kept students inside at recess for precautionary measures.

“It was never on school grounds but it was across the street,” he said, adding that the Cass County Sheriff’s Office advised the school to keep the children inside.

“I’d much rather have a cow perpetrator than anything else,” said Bastian, who was able to see the cow from his office window.

The steer was on the lam for a little more than four hours, from about 9:40 a.m. to 1:50 p.m.

The cow escaped when farmer Todd Sadek, who owns the cow, was transferring it to Casselton Cold Storage, a full-service meat plant for processing beef, hogs and big game animals in Casselton, according to Sgt. Dean Haaland with the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

Cold Storage employees and bystanders unsuccessfully tried to contain the cow, Haaland said in a news release. It wandered several blocks away.

Casselton Veterinary Service helped sedate the cow, which had to be tranquilized three times before it was put into a trailer and transported back to the farm, Haaland said.

No one was injured and no property was damaged.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526