COLUMBIA — A 1,300-pound Angus steer escaped from the MU slaughterhouse Tuesday morning, injuring one man as it ran along Paquin Street. The steer was ultimately killed by campus police.
MU Police Capt. Brian Weimer said John Brune was injured while he was trying to help police corral the animal at the Paquin Street side of the University Avenue Parking Garage.
Brune was taken by ambulance to University Hospital with a head injury. He was in serious condition on Tuesday and was in fair condition as of Wednesday morning, according to hospital spokeswoman Cheri Ghan.*
A call reporting the loose animal was received at 8:26 a.m., according to an MU Police Department news release.
The steer had jumped a fence while being unloaded at a slaughterhouse at East Campus Road and Rollins Street. The facility is operated by the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.
The animal was first spotted in university parking lot CG1, but officers, MU's College of Veterinary Medicine staff and the steer's owner, Duane Brune, were unable to contain it.
An eyewitness reported seeing the steer running across lawns on Rosemary Lane at 9:10 a.m. with MU police officers in pursuit.
The steer continued to zigzag across College Avenue toward East Campus. Authorities tried to tranquilize it but were not successful.
After the injury, the officers' primary concern shifted to stopping the runaway steer before someone else got hurt.
"Luckily, no one else was hurt," Weimer said.
Pursuit of the steer continued for about 90 minutes and ended when it was shot three times by an MU police officer just before 10 a.m. It was downed behind a house in the 1500 block of Anthony Street.
The animal also damaged two campus police cars when it ran into the sides of the vehicles.
Dusty Nagy, an assistant professor with the College of Veterinary Medicine, said typically, both tranquilizing and euthanizing are not needed to capture or contain a loose animal.
"Once you have animals in a heavily populated area, things get tricky," Nagy said.
Clara Pike, 94, who lives in the house on Anthony Street where the steer died, was eating breakfast when she was startled by loud bangs. After hearing the sound of shots, she said she looked outside to see the animal lying in her backyard.
The process of removing the steer from behind Pike's residence began at 10:30 a.m. with a tow truck winch. A cable pulled the steer through the yard, up a ramp and onto a flatbed trailer provided by the veterinary school.
Weimer said this is not the first time livestock has escaped from the area.
The steer's remains will be handled at the discretion of CAFNR and Duane Brune, Weimer said.
Nagy said the animal is not suitable for consumption.
Here is a map of the MU Abattoir, the official name of the slaughterhouse.