Three cows fell out of a trailer on Highway 99 on Tuesday; snarling traffic and prompting a low-speed pursuit of one of the cows.
Two Jersey cows and a Holstein fell out on northbound Highway 99 south of Briggsmore Avenue, said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Fabio Serrato.
The Jerseys wandered north and got off the highway, walked across the overpass and conveniently ended up at the agriculture department of the Modesto Junior College West Campus. They were caught by agriculture interns.
The Holstein continued south in the northbound lanes, where about a dozen police officers from the CHP, Modesto Police Department and animal control attempted multiple times to corral it.
They eventually cornered the cow against a chain-link fence that separates the highway from Graphics Drive between Woodland and Kansas avenues.
After it was lassoed, it laid down in the dry grass, breathing heavily. The cow had cuts on her body from the ordeal but did not appear badly injured.
The Modesto Junior College interns arrived at the scene with a trailer. The interns, along with officers, grabbed the cow on all sides and with some effort coaxed her into the trailer.
The owner of the cows realized about 15 minutes after the cows fell from his trailer that they were gone, Serrato said. He returned to the area to help, but his trailer got stuck in the dirt shoulder near Woodland Avenue.
A commercial officer responded to the scene to inspect the trailer and vehicle to determine if any violations were committed, Serrato said.
“The most important thing is there was no crash that took place; nobody got injured, which is a success for us,” he said.
Highway signs were activated to advise drivers to slow and drive cautiously through the area.