The Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences certainly provides plenty of entertainment and educational experiences that normal American high schools never see, but even this school never dealt with cows on the loose — until the first day of September, that is.
Principal William Hook said that he was getting ready to go home around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1 following a program for freshman and sophomore orientation when he received an unusual call: two of the school’s cows were wandering around on 115th St., near Pulaski Road.
Luckily, the cows were still fairly close to home; the school, which is located at 3857 W. 111th St., has a 12-acre pasture for its six cows.
According to the Chicago Tribune and DNAinfo, the high school uses the cows for teaching purposes — along with plenty of other farm animals that are all well-cared for and which haven’t escaped from their pens, save for “a wily chicken or two,” since Hook has been principal.
Hook immediately responded to the call and found a police officer directing traffic around the two escapees, even though they both behaved quite well and stayed on the sidewalks.
A few staff members and approximately a dozen police officers from three different police departments came to assist the principal and lead the cows back into their pasture, which ran alongside the sidewalk. Some bystanders offered to help, but considering that the cows weigh around 1,400 lbs. each, most people simply took pictures and offered moral support.
The other four cows stood in their pasture, calmly watching the event, and offering their moral support as well.
The cow-wrangling team corralled the first animal through a nearby gate leading into the pasture, which only took about 10 minutes. The second cow was a little more stubborn and kept walking down Pulaski Rd., so it took about 40 minutes to herd it back to safety.
All in all, both cows were home safe and sound by 9 p.m.
Hook stated that the cows likely broke the straps which hold the chain link fence to larger posts. Once these straps were broken, the fence folded over and the cows were able to walk underneath it.
Students have since mended the fence and the school’s agricultural construction program has stated that its students may look into adding an electric fence to the current chain link one.
There may be over 89 million cows in cattle ranches in the U.S. today, but there’s no doubt that the Mount Greenwood community considers these rogue bovines to be extra-special.