ST. LOUIS — A double-decker truck carrying 62 young bulls overturned on a bridge ramp, killing 17 of the animals and setting off a search for a missing bull roaming the city.
“We’re asking people to call the city police if they see a cow that isn’t where it’s supposed to be,” said Jeane Jae, spokeswoman for the Missouri Humane Society.
Animal rescue crews said the bulls were headed from Kentucky to a feed lot in Colorado when the load shifted and the truck overturned late Wednesday on a Poplar Street Bridge ramp. The crash occurred just before midnight near the grounds of the St. Louis Gateway Arch.
Forty-five bulls survived, and one remained loose Thursday morning.
The remaining 44 were bruised and battered and were held in a makeshift corral northwest of the downtown area. They were loaded into a truck later Thursday morning for shipment. Jae said she was not immediately certain where they were headed.
The accident happened exactly a year after a double-decker horse trailer packed with 42 horses en route to an Illinois slaughterhouse crashed on Interstate 44 in Franklin County.
“It’s just too eerie to be true,” said Roger Vincent, president of the Missouri Emergency Response Service, a large animal rescue group that specializes in cattle and horse trailer incidents.
“Last year’s accident had been on all of our minds, and this happened,” he said.
Vincent said last year’s horse trailer accident was the largest in U.S. history. His group of 16 volunteers was the first on the scene for that incident.
He got the call for the cattle accident around 12:30 a.m. Thursday.
“The truck was hanging over the overpass, and we saw about a dozen cattle legs sticking out of the ventilation holes,” he said.