Video Captures 'Intense' Highway Chase Between Runaway Cow and Cowboy

Drivers on an Oklahoma highway on Monday morning saw quite the unusual site.

Video taken by local KOCO 5 showed a loose cow on Interstate 40 near Pennsylvania Avenue. It was trailed by cowboys on horseback, along with additional emergency crews on scene.

Footage was captured by a helicopter and has been viewed by over 8.4 million people on Twitter. It starts with two all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) trying to corner the cow against a fence near the roadway, but the cow squeezes between the fence and the front fender of one of the vehicles and takes off running again.

Then, a cowboy enters the frame seemingly out of nowhere as the brown cow darts back into the road.

"Get him, get him, stay on him," the man in the helicopter said.

Just a second later, the cowboy successfully lassos the cow around the head in one attempt.

"Yes!" the voiceover says.

The cow continues running towards an intersection and can be seen trying to get away from the rope, but the experienced cowboy and horse didn't back down.

Another roper comes into frame and lassos the cow's hind legs, successfully "heading and heeling" the cow, causing the bovine to finally hit the asphalt and give up its jaunt.

From A Different View

Another angle of the footage showed the cow running full speed down the roadway, while the two aforementioned ATVs weaved and formed the initial blockade that slowed down the cow and allowed the cowboy to catch up and wrangle it.

Kelli Payne is the president of Oklahoma National Stockyards, headquartered in Oklahoma City and the largest stocker and feeder cattle market in the world. It is in its 112th year.

There was a trailer load of cattle being hauled in and there was a malfunction with the back gate.
Kelli Payne

Payne told Newsweek that the cow, or heifer to be more specific, was not from the stockyard.

"There was a trailer load of cattle being hauled in and there was a malfunction with the back gate," she said. "This could have been a lot worse for sure."

The cowboys were part of the pinback crew, which pin cattle after they are sold through auction. Payne said the two cowboys seen in the video took off instantly as it's "important to minimize danger to humans and livestock."

Situations like these are "extremely rare," she added.

Cattle
Landscapes of the isolated cattle ranch land where the mountains of the west meet the grasslands of the plains, pictured on May 9, 2021, in Black Mesa, Oklahoma. A heifer got loose recently on an Oklahoma roadway. Andrew Lichtenstein/Getty Images

Blake Igert, a contractor for the Oklahoma National Stockyards pinback crew, told KOCO 5 that he was beginning a long day of sales when he received a call about the cow and jumped on his horse down the highway.

We were right in the middle of traffic. The cows were heading right into the interstate.
Blake Igert, cowboy

"It was a little more intense this time," Igert said. "We were right in the middle of traffic. The cows were heading right into the interstate."

He employed his patience and waited "for a good opportunity" to wrangle the cow, later admitting that "you don't see this every day."

According to the website Beef 2 Live and 2018 data from the United States Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Oklahoma ranked fifth nationwide with approximately 5.1 million cattle—or about 5.4 percent of the national total.

It trailed California, Kansas, Nebraska and Texas in cattle numbers and national percentages, as Texas' 12.5 million cattle accounted for about 13 percent of U.S. cattle inventory.

Twitter Takes: 'What I imagine America looks like'

The video prompted kudos to the cowboys, as well as a plethora of jokes.

"This the most Oklahoma s**t of all time," one person tweeted.

This the most Oklahoma s**t of all time.
Twitter comment

Others also joked about a FedEx driver seen at the end of the chase who did not stop for the cow or cowboys and proceeded to make a quick turn as if nothing was happening.

One person said the driver simply felt the need to "skooch on by."

"Can't worry about no cow right now," another Twitter user joked. "I gotta make this delivery."

The video has also been upvoted over 126,000 times on Reddit's "Interesting As F**K" forum.

"This is what I imagine America looks like from European perspective," one Redditor joked.

This is pretty much the most American clip I've ever seen," another said. "Covered by a helicopter like some kind of police pursuit. Cowboys wrangling a cow. And a FedEx not giving a f**k.

"This is pretty much the most American clip I've ever seen," another said. "Covered by a helicopter like some kind of police pursuit. Cowboys wrangling a cow. And a FedEx not giving a f**k."

A couple of Redditors purportedly from Oklahoma said this was not that unusual.

"It's definitely Oklahoma," one said. "We have the cowboys, the news helicopters that are skilled in chasing tornadoes (so this is a Sunday drive for them), and the open space required for this to have happened enough times I couldn't tell you what one this is."

Another Oklahoman said the video and roping made him "proud" and caused him to reminisce on his family's old rodeo days.

It's not the only time cattle made the news.

Footage from a Ring doorbell camera earlier this year showed a herd of escaped dairy cows in a Georgia neighborhood.

A rampaging bull injured several people after it escaped from an arena in May.

A dairy farmer revealed why cattle across America are fed Skittles, and the internet was shocked.