Two cows wandered through downtown parking lots, dodged traffic and stopped to rest near a Greenwood church Friday morning.
The cows were part of a herd taken to be slaughtered at Archer’s Meat Packing, near Main and Meridian streets, just before 10 a.m. But the cows got out when a trailer was pulled away, leaving an opening for the large animals to get away from the shop, owner Chris Archer said.
“It’s kind of hard to stop a 1,100-pound beef,” Archer said.
The cows then headed down Main Street and wandered around the fire station. Police caught photos of them rushing through parking lots. The two then decided to saunter south on Meridian Street, stopping to rest near Our Lady of the Greenwood Church and school, Archer said.
The cows were loose in downtown Greenwood for about 20 minutes, Greenwood Police Department spokeswoman Kortney Burrello said.
Archer saw plenty of stares from shocked passers-by.
“They rub their eyes and do a double take,” he said.
Workers from the shop and police caught up to the cows where they had stopped near the church. And there, it was time to end their journey.
Allowing the cows to continue running loose in the busy area isn’t safe, Archer said. Workers shot the animals, loaded them onto a wrecker and brought them back to the butcher shop, at 259 S. Meridian St., Archer said.
“You don’t want them running around,” Archer said.
This is not the first time an animal from Archer’s has run loose in downtown Greenwood, Burrello said.
In 2010, a steer got away from the shop, wandering into the grassy lot at a nearby church and at one point charging at police.