Canadian Western Agribition continues this week in Regina, but the show went on the road this morning during rush hour.
A one-year-old bull calf was being walked around for its morning exercise when something – perhaps metal gates clanging together – spooked it.
“It broke away from the guy who was leading it on the halter and saw an open gate to the outside,” Agribition CEO Chris Lane explained.
It took the chance, crossing at Lewvan Drive and making a break for it down Dewdney Avenue, eventually ending up in a grassy field near Walker School – just a few blocks away from the aptly named ice shop, The Moo Shoppe.
Agribition staff and police officers were on hand as handlers tried to get the animal into a trailer.
The first attempt failed and the bull calf made a break for it again. It ran past a crowd of elementary school kids playing outside for recess, down a back alley and through the Rosemont neighbourhood.
The pursuit ended on the front lawn of a home along Dewdney Avenue.
“You don’t want to overstress the animal in something like this so not only are we looking out for the public’s safety but we also don’t want to increase any stress to the animal in what is obviously a stressful situation – walking through town,” Lane said.
He said it wasn’t the first time livestock became loose from Agribition grounds.
“It’s not uncommon for livestock to get away. I think anybody who’s spent time on a farm would know they don’t always go where you want them to go.”
Lane said Agribition has procedures in place for incidents like this, including notifying security who then, in turn, notified police.
“That procedure was followed exactly the way it was supposed to today so we feel pretty good that we minimized any kind of risk or distraction to the public. Everybody was safe, nobody was in danger and the animal is fine, too.”
After the half hour long pursuit, the bull calf was returned to the grounds.
“They’ll let him settle down and probably spend a bit of time in the trailer,” Lane said. “It’s just important to make sure he’s got some time and space to calm back down. He’ll be fine.”