Barney the Taurus: Where is he now?


WANTAGE, NEW JERSEY – Barney the Bull has moved into his new home, with a new crew and a new name.

Now known as Hannibal and living at Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue here in northern New Jersey, the runaway cattle – which fled the impending slaughter on July 20 in the Mastic-Moriches area before being captured two months later – technically not even really a bull.

He is a steer that came from Texas to Long Island and now lives among nearly 500 animals in Skylands. The sanctuary is home to 181 roosters collected after falling from a truck en route to slaughter, as well as some 93 cattle, as well as goats, ducks, geese, chickens, turkeys and donkeys.

How about you tackle it? Do not even think about it. He’s still a little nervous about his near-death experience on Long Island.

“Right now you see how he’s looking at us? He doesn’t take his eyes off us,” said Mike Stura, founder of Skyland, as he coached visitors on a trip to see one of his newcomers. residents. “And if you approached him in a threatening manner, it would get ugly quickly. He’s alert and he’s careful.”

The quest to catch the cattle, which became known as Barney the Bull, was done on foot and on horseback, and with drones, helicopters and thermal cameras. Researchers even sent a cow into heat and set up a paddock loaded with grain within days of her escape.

“He knew something bad was going on,” Stura said.

It was only after Stura, a longtime truck driver, set up a temporary enclosure at a Moriches duck farm, that Barney finally ended his months on the run – about 300 yards from the where he first escaped, Stura said.

The mission of Skylands, whose slogan is “Where Cows Live”, includes rescuing animals from slaughterhouses and live markets.

“No matter where they come from or what dire circumstances they escape, they receive proper veterinary care, the best food, water, a safe place to live, eat and sleep, and lots of love. hours a day, “he added. says the site of the shrine.

As for Hannibal’s skeptical view of humans, Stura said, “Of course he doesn’t fully trust us yet, you know? Which he shouldn’t be. Neither would I be if I did. was him.… He’s much better now., however. He’s so much sweeter now. “

In Skylands, Hannibal joined Freddy, another runaway cattle spared from certain death five years ago: escaping from a slaughterhouse in Queens. Freddy’s theft surprised drivers and pedestrians near the slaughterhouse, but he was captured after just 30 minutes by police and then turned over to the shrine.

Speaking of the animals at the sanctuary, Stura said, “They all have some kind of crazy history. They all have them.”

Late Thursday morning, Hannibal was expecting a large bale of hay and grain. He ran for food after the food fell; on average, he will eat about 45 or 50 pounds per day.

“Well here he is!” Stura said. “Do you see him running?” … Hi, big boy, what are you doing?

Hannibal was alone, but jumped over a fence to hang out with his new mixed crew – the other cattle Peanut, Molly, and Moxie.

“You could see: he’s very, like, nimble, you know? He’s that age where he’s kind of invincible. And he only weighs 1,500 pounds of muscle,” said Stura, who estimates Hannibal has. 2 and a half or 3 years old and is expected to gain at least 500 pounds more.

Stura, a vegan, said Hannibal is a night owl and stays awake later than most – sometimes around 4 a.m. Sometimes, because he’s younger, he’ll go for a run “just for fun.”

And on Thursday morning, one of the other steers pushed Hannibal, who was apparently dogged, while the group fed at the shrine where Stura said Hannibal will live the rest of his life.

“Be nice!” Stura scolded the offending ox. “He’s like a cranky old man. He pushes him a bit.”

Hannibal, whom Stura expects to live into his twenties, took inspiration from other members of his team when approaching visitors.

“See how they are? They give him the green light to come towards us. You know, without them he wouldn’t be approaching us yet. You could give him all the grain he wanted. When he would eat it. we’re leaving… but the reason he’s coming to see us now is because they let him do it. They showed him we’re safe, “Stura said.

During mealtime, all around, cows mooed.

“Silence, ladies! Said Stura, whose nonprofit shrine relies on donations for its annual budget of around $ 800,000.

How did Stura choose “Hannibal” as the new name for former Barney the Bull, now a steer after castration?

“He just didn’t like a ‘Barney’ or a ‘Bully Joel’ or a – what else did they call him? – ‘Houdini’, whom they call anyone who runs away, they want to call ‘Houdini’. “

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