cow stock animal science barns

A cow stands in front of the animal science barn off of State Avenue on July 27, 2017.

Editor's note: This article previously incorrectly quoted Community Outreach Specialist Anthony Greiter. The incorrect quote has been removed. The Daily regrets this error.

Iowa State is known for its veterinary and agriculture schools, in which students work with animals all the time. However, on occasion, cows get loose from their enclosures and wander their way onto campus, creating a sight to see for anyone.

On this rare occurrence, the Ames Police Department and Iowa State University Police Department are called to respond in order to track the animal down and get it back to the farm before it causes an accident.

In March 2010, a cow wandered onto campus from the College of Veterinary Medicine complex after the owner forgot to latch the gate. The loose cow led Ames Police and animal control on a two-hour cow hunt, and the cow was eventually brought down by tranquilizer darts after it was located. 

Animal control ended up being brought in to help handle the situation. The animal led the police on an eight-to-nine mile chase through Ames and Iowa State. 

The fact the cow was pregnant made the chase all the more tense, as no one knew whether the darts would end up hurting the unborn calf, said Anthony Greiter, community outreach specialist for Iowa State Police. However, this did not affect how many tranquilizers were used.

After the chase, the cow was brought back to the barn safely.

“Cows wandering their way onto campus doesn’t happen often,” Greiter said. “It’s very rare.”

Since the incident back in 2010, cows are rarely spotted wandering their way onto campus.

“There are always cows on campus because of ISU having a vet school, but they don’t typically get out,” Greiter said. 

Just recently, another cow took to the streets of Ames, causing Ames PD to take to Twitter.

“Big city crime,” Ames Police said in a tweet. “Hey south Ames if you are missing a cow he is running amuck.”

In a light-hearted manner, Ames Police informed the public of the ongoing situation and continually gave updates.

“All Points Bulletin... BOLO (be on the look out) small black cow, drools a lot and does not listen well,” Ames Police said in a tweet. “Unknown if armed but probably delicious. Last known location in the area of Brookside Park. Charges of interference, trespass, and jay walking pending.”

Since the cow chase in 2010, there have been fewer issues despite the number of cows in close proximity to the city.

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Jesse McNair

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