FLATBUSH — It's the Prospect Park rodeo.
A loose cow was corralled into a Flatbush baseball field by police Tuesday morning and, after several hours, police tranquilized it with a dart, roped it and eventually loaded into horse trailer bound for an Animal Care and Control center on Linden Boulevard.
The brown bull, which appeared to be a calf, trotted around the field at the park's Parade Grounds near Caton Avenue and Westminster Road for several hours as a crowd of onlookers gathered to watch the impromptu roundup.
"They tried to trap it in a soccer field," said Hillary Dovel, 38, of Prospect Park South. "Four police officers picked up two different soccer goals and tried to trap him in, but the cow just ran straight through."
Dovel rushed over to the field to watch the loose livestock, she said, after getting an alert on an app on her phone about it. She hung out at the field for more than an hour with friends who were also drawn to the spectacle.
"The cow was terrified," Dovel said. "It charged the fence a couple of times."
For awhile, police helicopters circled overhead and the NYPD's elite Emergency Service Unit gave the bovine wide berth while they puzzled over how to capture it.
The NYPD was originally alerted to the animal when it was spotted near 4th Avenue and 16th Street, not far from Prospect Park Expressway, around 11:00 a.m., officials said.
Noelle Lake was driving north on the expressway en route to Ikea when she saw the bolting bovine charging against traffic, she said.
"It was galloping. It was really frantic. It was running against traffic on the highway," said Lake, 50.
"The energy around the cow was one of panic, obviously, because there it was on the highway. It seemed like an animal willing to do anything to get somewhere. It was really kind of heartbreaking. ... It really looked like it was on a mission, like it really wanted to get out of there," Lake added.
The cow somehow made its way to the athletic fields soon after, police said.
By about 1:30 p.m. police had lassoed it, loaded it into the horse trailer and took it to the animal shelter where it could be reunited with its owner or claimed by a sanctuary, according to Deputy Chief Charles Scholl of Brooklyn South.
Mary Beth Artz of W.I.LD. Prospect Park, an wildlife group, said that Skylands Animal Sanctuary of New Jersey had called to offer the bull protection. They were on their way to the Brooklyn AC&C facility Tuesday afternoon.
"I hope the cow is OK," Lake said. "It would be nice if they could take into consideration the cow's point of view and maybe free it."