‘Lester’ lassoed after lengthy journey to return home

By David Fleet
Groveland Twp. — Lester has been on a journey.
The four-and-a-half-year-old Hereford steer’s trek started around St. Patrick’s Day last March, covered three townships and ended on May 21 heading northbound on I-75 in Groveland Township.
“Lester is fine, despite a few small bites from the cow dogs,” said Melissa Borden, of Devoted Friends Animal Society and Lester’s owner.
Lester, who’s the calf of a rescue, is one of several Hereford steers from a Rose Township farm that who was to be relocated to a Brandon Township farm several miles away.
“While preparing for transport, Lester freaked out along with two steers and two heifers who went through the catch pen,” she said. “At this point the group was free but still in their 15 acre pasture on the farm.”
When attempts were made to capture the five by area ranchers, the cows panicked and broke free of the pasture into the neighboring woods.
“They ran through the (pasture) fence,” she said. “It took a week or two but the cows including Lester were all caught.”
The cattle were moved to the Brandon Township Farm, prior to going to their permanent home, she said.
“We were getting situated in our new home at that time and all the cows were safe,” she said.
On May 18, Borden received a message it was time to transport the cattle to a more permanent farm. At that point she was informed one of the cows was loose.
“I thought, what loose cow?” she said. “I found out that Lester had escaped from their ranch a few weeks earlier. I’m in panic mode at this point, one of my cows is gone and I don’t know where to begin to look.”
Borden soon received calls regarding Lester.
“I need to find him,” she said. “We have a cow that was missing and was out surviving on his own. And he was scared. They also travel at night, he could run out into the road.”
Borden had the last known sighting.
On May 19, Borden posted a be-on-the-look-out for Lester on Facebook.
“People knew where he was but were not doing anything to secure him,” she said.
Soon after Borden began receiving calls as to Lester’s whereabouts and mapped some of his sightings. It was determined that he was on a path from Brandon Township back to their old ranch in Rose Township.
On May 20 Lester was sighted late in the day in Groveland Township near Exit 106. The next day May 21, the cow wranglers arrived about 12:30 p.m. to bring him home.,
“They headed out on horseback, while we had a drone in the air,” she said. “Soon after they come face-to-face with Lester. We contacted the MSP, regarding the situation. They found him not far from I-75 in a wooded area and he bolted out into I-75. The troopers had northbound I-75 closed to traffic.”
The wranglers along with ATVs followed Lester down I-75 where he was finally caught. “We have much respect for the wranglers, the State Police for Lester’s safe capture,” she said. “He lost some weight during his adventure, but is just hanging out now and getting some much needed rest in his new home.”
Since Lester is a rescue, he will remain with Devoted Friends Animal Society for the remainder of his years.

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