A bull that escaped a slaughterhouse, only to be captured by police after running through the streets of New York City, has died.
The animal’s death marked a sad twist to a story that many hoped would have a happy ending. Just hours before the bull’s death was reported, Mike Stura, founder of the New Jersey-based Skylands Animal Sanctuary, told The Huffington Post he was en route to try and retrieve him.
Stura planned to allow the bull to live out the rest of his life peacefully at the sanctuary. “There’s a good chance I’m going to get him,” he said, adding that police had said they’d give him the bull if they had the animal in custody.
But that hope was dashed at around 2:30 p.m., when the bull died in transit to a city Animal Care and Control center.
An NYPD spokesperson told HuffPost that “the cow is dead,” but declined to give further details.
Stura wrote on Facebook that the bull died in transit, which was confirmed by a spokeswoman for New York City Animal Care and Control.
Earlier in the day, the bull’s escape had enthralled the city. He was spotted on a lawn in Queens on Tuesday morning. He reportedly engaged in a “standoff” with law enforcement before making a run for it, busting through a police blockade and charging into a passerby.
Police were able to sedate and capture the bull at around 12:30 p.m. It’s unclear what ultimately caused his death.
This is at least the third bull to escape from a Queens slaughterhouse since January 2016, when a bull broke free and roamed the streets for almost an hour. Skylands later took in the animal.
Another escaped New York bull was ultimately adopted by comedian Jon Stewart and his wife, animal advocate Tracey Stewart. That bull, named Frank, now lives on the couple’s New Jersey animal sanctuary, Bufflehead Farm.
This story has been updated to reflect reports of the bull’s death.