Loose bull on Greenbelt recaptured after days on the lam

August 27, 2013 

An escaped bull that eluded capture for several days has been found by Eagle police officers.

The officers found the 1,200-pound animal Monday night in a swampy area by the Boise River, close to South Edgewood Lane.

Eagle Police Officer Jeff Winegar, a member of the Ada Metro SWAT team who also owns cattle and lives on a ranch, tranquilized the bull with a dart gun before it could escape again.

“Winegar is a great shot, and he’s also a cowboy, so he was perfect for the job,” Eagle Police Chief Steve Bartlett said in a Tuesday press release.

The search started Thursday, after a resident spotted the bull and a cow on the Greenbelt by Merrill Park and called police.

The cow was recaptured the same day, police said, but the bull continued to dodge the long arm of the law.

The animal was spotted several times, first making an appearance in a Garden City subdivision near River Rock Road Friday night. On Sunday, he charged at four children on the Greenbelt and a man on horseback who was helping with the search.

Even when cornered by officers, the 1- to 2-year-old animal was able to get away by leaping into the river and swimming to freedom.

“It’s amazing how fast a bull can be — he looked like a cheetah jumping over banks into the river,” Bartlett said.

Although a police search for the bull didn’t start until Thursday, it may have been missing for up to two weeks before that.

Police are not sure how the creature got out: a barbed wire fence around the pasture was intact.

The bull’s owner may face charges and be held financially responsible for the cost of the search. Police and cowhands spent hours searching for the bull over the weekend.

The animal was sent to a new pasture in Owyhee County.

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