The rogue bull that escaped from a Queens slaughterhouse and led police on a wild, hours-long chase through neighborhood streets Tuesday, ducking under caution tape and sidestepping cops, has died, NYPD officials confirmed.
The bull, which was seen with at least a dozen tranquilizer darts in its side over the course of the miles-long chase, died at some point before 2:30 p.m., nearly three hours after it escaped a Beaver Road slaughterhouse and went on a free-for-all through Queens, dodging police in Jamaica and South Ozone Park before it was captured in someone's backyard.
A cause of death for the animal wasn't immediately clear, but a spokeswoman for Animal Care Centers of NYC said it died during transport. It wasn't clear where the animal was being taken at the time and city officials had no further comment. The remains will now be taken to a crematorium, officials said.
The animal's demise culminates a wild chase that featured daring efforts by police and passersby to bring the bull into custody. Live video from Chopper 4 showed the bull penned between two houses at one point Tuesday as authorities attempted to wrangle it. Chopper footage then captured the animal outmaneuvering law enforcement, dodging an officer who had jumped atop an emergency response vehicle, and ducking under yellow caution tape as it galloped down the middle of a street and onto a sidewalk.
Passersby appeared to give chase as police, on foot and in department-issued vehicles, pursued the animal. Several times it appeared officers had managed to corral the animal, but each time the bull shot through makeshift barriers and started running down the street again.
The bull appeared exhausted by about 12:15 p.m., settling in the middle of a street as officers armed with tranquilizer equipment tried -- and failed -- once again to take the animal into custody. About 10 minutes later, the animal was apprehended in someone's backyard; its legs were tied to keep it immobile as at least a half-dozen police officers crowded around it.
Cows escaped slaughterhouses at least twice last year, in January and April. In the second case, comedian Jon Stewart took possession of the bull and transferred it to an animal sanctuary he owns.
Tuesday's crazy chase vaulted the bull to the stuff of Internet legend in a manner of hours. It becomes the second "viral" animal to die in the city in the last few months. In December, a white-tailed buck who was granted a last-minute reprieve from euthanasia after a days-long back and forth between the city and state died in Harlem. The one-antlered buck died while state officials from the Department of Environmental Conservation were arranging relocation. The city blamed the state for its death; the state blamed the city.