The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 9, 2013

5th day at large for 1,200-lb. steer that escaped slaughter

By Bill Foley
The Daily Item

— MIDDLEBURG — State troopers are combing Snyder County for a 1,200-pound, $1,500 steer that with another pulled off a late-night escape from their indoor holding pen only hours before they were to be butchered.

One of the red Limousine beef steers was cornered a half-mile from N.S. Troutman and Son’s barn on Wednesday, owner Isaac Hassinger said Saturday, found in a fenced pasture, where it may sought to blend in with other cattle.

Except it stood out, with its light red coat and short horns indicative of the French breed.

It will be slaughtered Tuesday, Hassinger said.

The other steer is on the lam, surviving possibly on acorns, corn, grass and soybeans, Hassinger said.

The two steers from an organic farm in southeastern Pennsylvania arrived at Hassinger’s late Tuesday night and were placed in a holding pen within the barn and in full view of the slaughterhouse.

Holding pen doors were fastened and barn doors closed at 9:30 p.m., Hassinger said.

“They were in there,” Hassinger said, “all closed up tight.”

When he returned at 5:30 the next morning to butcher the steers and return the meat to the southeastern Pennsylvania customer, the interior gate to the holding pen was still fastened, as it was hours earlier.

And the barn door was still closed.

But “The animals were gone,” he said.

The successful escape was the first in his three years as Troutman’s owner, Hassinger said.

“It’s the first time that we could not one get back,” he said.

He and others followed tracks from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. Wednesday.

“We found the one,” he said. “We followed the tracks till we could not find any more. We couldn’t tell if it was one set of tracks or two. There weren’t a lot of them, so it leads me to believe it was only one set of tracks.”

Four days after its escape, the steer could be miles and miles away, Hassinger said.

Sightings of a suspicious 50-inch-tall short-horn with a light red coat and feeding on field crops should be reported to Selinsgrove state police at (570) 374-8145.