A cow that eluded capture in Nebraska for nearly three months has become a celebrity, with officials going so far as proposing a “Ninja Cow Day” next year.
Authorities believe that the 1,500-pound bovine escaped from a cattle truck in front of the Platte River Town Hall on Sept. 15. For months, residents reported cow sightings and then she would vanish before being caught.
At one point, Animal Control Officer Sue Baker set a trap, playing cow sounds on her laptop and using another cow as bait. But Ninja Cow stayed clear of the trap.
Several days later, a deputy reported sighting the elusive cow — with a calf.
Baker set up a temporary pen that night and was successful at luring the cow inside. But when the gate was latched, “She freaked out,” Baker told The Wall Street Journal.
Ninja Cow knocked over two sections of fence while escaping, nearly knocking over Baker as well.
Just as Police Chief Steve Rathman had issued orders to shoot the cow, Baker asked Terry Grell, a 55-year-old who learned roping from a cowboy while working at a feed lot, to help.
Grell and his team tracked Ninja Cow for miles over snow and ice, but just as they got close she would escape again.
Ninja Cow was finally caught on Dec. 8.
“The first few days she was throwing herself at the fence,” Grell recalled. “Now, she eats right out of my hand.”
Watch this video from The Wall Street Journal, broadcast Dec. 21, 2011.