Three motor vehicle accidents, resulting in injury to one person, resulted after 35 head of cattle escaped from Boger Farms, located in the 13000 block of US20.
The escape was discovered about 11 pm, Thursday, Sept. 10; Rod Cheney, of the Fulton County Emergency Management Agency, said the first motor vehicle accident occurred about 1 or 2 am the following day. The area was blanketed with extreme fog at the time.
One of the accidents involved a semi striking two of the animals, doing enough damage to disable the truck.
Emergency Management became involved on Monday, Sept. 14. They offered to assist with the problem after learning of the three vehicle accidents.
Cheney said the cattle were of a different breed than normally found in Northwest Ohio.
“When they get loose, they go crazy. They weren’t acting like a normal steer does,” he said.
During the day, the cattle would seek cool temperatures, hiding out in wooded areas. At night, they would come out to feed and find water.
EMA, with the cooperation of the Life Flight helicopter ambulance service, went out and searched for the animals from the air, but couldn’t spot any during the day. They returned to the area at dusk and found 13 grazing.
Cheney said there were three options for dealing with loose cattle.
“We could get them in the pen, they could be struck by a vehicle, or they could be shot. We didn’t like number two,” he said.
Some cattle were shot when they could not be rounded up.
To warn motorists of the danger, “Loose Cattle” signs were placed on a three-mile stretch of US20; but, the county didn’t have any and the Fulton County Ohio Department of Transportation garage had to make some.
Cheney said the Village of Archbold loaned two of its flashing electronic message boards. A third came from ODOT, and was placed on Co. Rd. 13, where one of the accidents occurred.
“They were a tremendous asset,” he said.
They were taken down yesterday, Tuesday.
Some rumors around the county said the cattle were released by animal rights activists.
Tracey Zuver, a Fulton County Sheriff Department sergeant, said he had no information on any suspected animal rights activist links to the incident.
Cheney said representatives from Boger Farms have no idea how the cattle escaped.
As of yesterday, Tuesday, Cheney said Boger Farms offi- cials believe all of the animals are accounted for.
Not all the animals have been found.
Some were shot, but did not die immediately. They fled, and their carcasses have not been located.–David Pugh