The Story of Molly B.

This cow was determined to live --
in her honor, eat a veggie burger. You'll live longer, and so will many of her friends and family.

"Molly B" will live after all -- read the follow-up!

Cow Escapes Meat Plant, Dodges SUV, Train
Feisty Cow Escapes Slaughterhouse, Dodges Vehicles, Train
and Braves Icy River Before Recapture

©The Associated Press

GREAT FALLS, Montana, Jan 6, 2006 — A cow that escaped a slaughterhouse dodged vehicles, ran in front of a train, braved the icy Missouri River and took three tranquilizer darts before being recaptured six hours later. News of the heifer's adventures prompted a number of people to offer to buy the animal.

The black, 1,200 pound heifer jumped a gate at the packing plant at around 5 a.m. Thursday and apparently wandered through residential areas. Police received reports at about 9:30 a.m. that it was in the middle of a busy intersection.

Police tried to catch the cow, and had her wedged between a stock trailer and a fence, but the heifer barreled through the fence toward the river, nearly being hit by a Chevrolet Suburban. It was the first of many near-death experiences. With the police in pursuit, the cow ran toward the railroad tracks and darted in front of an oncoming locomotive, briefly giving the police the slip again.

Crossing another road, the cow was nearly struck by a semi tractor-trailer.

"By then it was a madhouse," said police officer Corey Reeves. "People were coming out of the woodwork to see."

When police, animal control officers and slaughterhouse workers surrounded the cow in a park near the Missouri River, the cow jumped into the icy water. As she swam to the west bank of the river, Reeves said she sank lower in the water and was being swept downstream. But the cow found a sandbar near the river's west bank and walked to shore.

"I was totally amazed she was able to swim the river," said Del Morris, the slaughterhouse manager.

As police scrambled to head off the cow on the other side of the river, a veterinarian with a tranquilizer gun was called. Pursuers again believed they had the cow cornered at a chain link fence, but the heifer ran through a perimeter set up by officials. The chase began to slow as the cow ran up against several strong fences. Dr. Jennifer Evans of Big Sky Medical Center shot the cow with a tranquilizer dart.

It had little effect.

FOLLOW UP! According to the Great Falls Tribune (Great Falls, Montana), the cow (now named "Molly B.") will not go to slaughter -- nor will she go to a farm animal sanctuary. Instead, she'll spend her life in Montana, 5 miles from the packing plant she escaped. Read more:

Molly B. to Stay

Tribune Staff Writer

Molly B.'s home will be on the range. Mickey's Packing Plant decided not to move the black bovine, saying Wednesday she will live many years under the Big Sky.

"Molly's here to stay," said Mickey's manager Del Morris. "She's Montana born and bred and it's going to stay that way."

Morris said Molly probably will spend her days on five acres outside the packing plant she escaped from last Thursday, although she could go to a local ranch. The heifer jumped a 5-foot-fence, outran police and dodged an SUV and a semi before swimming the frigid Missouri River.

Her six-hour, eight-mile flight through town captured the hearts of people across the country who begged for Molly's life. Now the media attention has gone global. Radio stations from Australia, London and Scotland interviewed Morris Thursday. Swedes requested photos from the Tribune.

"People are tired (of) hearing about Iraq and corrupt politicians," philosophized 94.5 Max Country radio personality Bubba. He and partner Hershey wrote and performed a song about Molly on Wednesday. "Something like this is fun and it makes people laugh," Bubba said.

Certain that Molly B. should be spared, Mickey's employees have since debated if she should go to one of the farms or rescue groups vying to be her home.

Already, parents and children are visiting the packing plant at 55 Gibson Flats Road, to photograph Molly.

"It certainly would give people a chance to be a part of something and watch her grow," Morris said.

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