Columbia County deputies were forced to shoot and kill a bull that was running loose in a residential area near Harlem for a few hours Thursday.
An 1,800-pound black Angus bull escaped from 5952 Harlem-Grovetown Road at about 6 p.m. and was found running loose in the area near Forest Drive, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
Columbia County Animal Services Operations Manager Daniel Mayne said the bull escaped from his enclosure and wandered a few miles away near Brown Circle before he started heading back home. The bull was walking on the roadways, but mainly wandered in wooded areas behind homes. Mayne said his office was notified just after 3 p.m. and quickly arrived on Forest Drive with a livestock trailer and corral pens hoping to get the bull back to his owner.
“We were out there for four hours chasing this one trying to get him confined,” Mayne said. “We’d exhausted all of our resources on that one.”
Deputies and Animal Services personnel tried several times to corral the bull, but he charged them. He then started running in the roadway causing a danger to drivers, according to the report.
“I think he was just being a bull,” Mayne said. “They can be difficult to capture. ... They tend to be very aggressive.”
The bull also ran through several yards causing people to run into their homes and posing a danger to residents.
Authorities contacted the bull’s owner, George Freeman Young, 55, who asked deputies to put the bull down because he didn’t want it to run in the road and cause an wreck or hurt anyone, according to the report.
A deputy hit the bull with a rifle round and the bull ran away. Another deputy chased it and killed it with his handgun in the backyard of a resident at 960 Forest Drive.
Young removed the bull carcass.
The incident Thursday isn’t the first time Animal Services personnel had to deal with a loose bull.
“It’s been a while, but we’ve had two or three other bull calls,” Mayne said.