MOUNT GREENWOOD — A pair of cows went for a walk outside their pasture at their Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences on Tuesday night.
The cows were spotted just after 8 p.m. on 115th Street — about 30 yards east of Pulaski Road, said William Hook, principal of the school at 3857 W. 111th St. in Mount Greenwood.
A police officer was directing traffic around the animals as Hook approached the 1,400-pound beef cows with Christopher Neary, a program director at the magnet high school.
"We had just wrapped up freshman and sophomore orientation," Hook said.
He and Neary were able to corral one of the cows into a nearby gate located alongside a city bus turnaround. That effort only took 10 minutes.
Howard Ludwig grew up on a farm and say sometimes cows get out:
But the other escapee wasn't as cooperative. This trouble-making cow insisted on being herded to a farther gate, requiring a jaunt northbound on Pulaski Road.
The second cow was back in the pasture about 40 minutes after breaking out — around 9 p.m., Hook said.
"Neither of them got off the sidewalk," Hook said on Wednesday afternoon.
Word of the cows grazing along 115th Street quickly spread to social media on Tuesday night. The Mt. Greenwood Watch Facebook page was among the first to post about the freed cows at 8:13 p.m.
Just 23 minutes later, the Facebook page dedicated to posting news from the neighborhood updated its followers, saying, "Both cows are in custody!! Great work by police!!"
The school confirmed the return of the cows on its own Facebook page at 11:52 p.m. on Tuesday. "Yes, the cows have been secured! Thank you to everyone who helped out! Have a restful night!" the Ag School's post read.
Someone managed to snap a picture of the cows grazing at what appears to be 115th Street and Pulaski Road. This picture was also posted and shared frequently on social media.
Hook theorized that the cows broke the straps holding the chain link fence to the posts by rubbing against them. Once broken, the fence folded over, and the cows walked underneath, he said.
The fence has since been mended, and Hook hook doesn't anticipate any further breakouts. He's even considering adding an electric fence as a further deterrent.
The Ag School purchased six cows in May. The animals spend their days grazing on 12.1 acres of fenced grassland on the northeast corner of 115th Street and Pulaski.
The school plans to take the cows to market in November. Students at the school raised four cows in similar fashion last year.
Hook said the only other animals to ever be found outside of their pens during his tenure has been a wily chicken or two. He described the whole incident on Tuesday evening as a "freak thing."
"It was an interesting evening to say the least," he said.
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