A yak on its way to slaughter in Virginia will live to see another day after escaping from a trailer transporting it to the butcher.
The animal, named Meteor, broke loose in Nelson County on Tuesday morning and ran across busy U.S. 29 in Lovington, according to The Roanoke Times.
Animal Control Officer Kevin Wright told the Times the yak was in a trailer heading to market from Buckingham when it escaped and was spotted at one point on Front Street in Lovington before heading into the mountains.
“I think this thing made a break for it and took off,” Wright said.
He said officers lost sight of the animal when it disappeared into a mountainous area, but that they have fielded numerous calls about sightings of the yak.
Its owner, Robert Cissell, told the Times they’ve been trying to get Meteor back since Tuesday.
“I think a lot of people think it’s a grand adventure, but don’t think about the family with a small farm trying to make a living. At this point, it’s looking like he won’t go to the butcher, but we do want to get him home safe,” Cissell said.
Animal rescuers like Nelson County resident Vanessa Miller Turner told the newspaper she runs a sanctuary and would welcome Meteor.
“If any yak can escape slaughter, it deserves to live in peace,” she said.
Yaks are a long-haired member of the cattle family, cousins to cows and distant relatives of the American and European bison, and are native to areas in southern Central Asia.
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