Many animals held captive by humans have every reason to try to escape, whether it’s because of bad living conditions, impending death or simple loneliness. One famous escapee was Yvonne the cow, who fled a slaughterhouse in Germany and evaded authorities for three months before she was captured and went to live in a sanctuary. Here are four stories of American animals who gave their all for freedom with mixed results.
1. A Goat Runs for His Life
A goat escaped a slaughterhouse early on February 7th in Brooklyn, New York. It was one o’clock in the morning, but the little fellow was trapped in the city that never sleeps and plenty of people were around to chase him down.
Onlookers who first spotted the goat said he “seemed confused and repeatedly banged into doors” as he ran.
The goat’s escape was finally foiled by an actual goat herder. Seydou Ndiaye, a hospital security guard, used to be a goat herder in West Africa. He says that he told other chasers “do not harm the animal, it’s an easy animal, it’s very friendly but it just was a little scared.”
Ndiaye eventually grabbed the goat by the horns, showing up six police officers who had been trying to catch the animal in a “long chase.”
“Officers brought the goat to the ASPCA in Manhattan” according to Gothamist, but he had a tag in his ear showing that he belonged to a slaughterhouse.
Nevertheless the goat, named Wilfred, lucked into a new home at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary. The sanctuary’s veterinarian proclaimed Wilfred thin but otherwise healthy. He is now safe forever with people who have his best interests at heart.
Photo courtesy of Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary
2. A Lonely Camel Just Looking for a Friend
Given that Ferrante knew that, it’s a mystery why DB Inc. penned in a 10-year-old camel named Phil all by himself.
Eventually Phil did exactly what Ferrante predicted: he broke out of his pen. Twice on the same day.
The lonely camel had been locked in by himself for a year in Concord, California, so on February 5th he busted out, “apparently just looking for some company.”
The second time he bolted he was “clipped by a minivan on a busy street,” but fortunately veterinarians at the University of California Davis pronounced him “fine.” Ferrante said that Phil was being moved to a new pen that he could not escape from.
At least poor Phil struck a small victory against the species that locks him up without any company by forcing authorities to close a road in both directions while DB employees struggled to force him into a truck. His quest for company may have been a mere inconvenience to motorists, but it was a clear cry of distress that his owners should heed.
3. Pony and Zebra Flee Defunct Petting Zoo in Staten Island, New York
Photo courtesy of the Staten Island Advance: the fugitives during their bid for freedom
A pony and a zebra made a break for it after their owner left the gate to their pen open last November. They were fleeing a one-time petting zoo.
The zebra, Razzi, was only four months old, and followed pony Casper, 14 years old, wherever he went.
For one hour of freedom they ran through back yards and dodged traffic until they were caught and sent right back to the defunct zoo. Their owner, Giovanni Schirripa, said the pony had escaped twice before.
Video courtesy of Time NewsFeed
The animals’ escape shone a spotlight on their owner’s apparent misdeeds. According to the New York City Health Department Schirripa has no permit for a petting zoo, and without a permit is prohibited from keeping a zebra in the city. Schirripa said he did have a permit and that he had once had a petting zoo, but that he closed it. The New York Times reported that Schirripa said he took Razzi to a barn in New Jersey where he keeps some horses.
There is no word on Casper the pony’s fate, but it appears that he did not get to stay with his friend Razzi.
4. An Emu Escapes and Runs for it with a Fellow Jogger
An emu decided to go for a jog and make a friend in Virginia last December. Huff Post DC says that the emu “drifted away” from its home. The bird started out behind the jogger but soon caught up and ran side-by-side. No word on how the jogger felt about it, but an emu is a whole lot of company: adults grow to 5 feet tall. It could be unnerving to find one chasing you.
Photo credit: Huff Post DC
Emus are farmed in the United States for meat and for the oil rendered from their fat, which some people mistakenly believe treats a very long list of maladies from surgery scars to tired feet to frostbite. Little wonder that this emu fled at top speed.
Animal control officers returned the emu to its owner.
Top photo credit: iStockphoto