The 550-pound bull named Shankar died of natural causes about 2 weeks after being brought to Wantage
Everyone was cheering last fall when a 550-pound bull escaped a New York City slaughterhouse and roamed the streets of Brooklyn.
The so-called “Brooklyn Bull” was on the loose for several hours before being captured and brought to rural Sussex County, where the hope was he would live a long, peaceful life at a farm in Wantage.
Sadly, it didn’t turn out that way.
Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue owner Mike Stura disclosed Tuesday the bull died of natural causes just a couple of weeks after arriving.
“We saw him at 10:30 at night. Next morning, he was dead on the floor,” Stura said of the bull, whom he had named Shankar.
A necropsy found that 1-year-old Shankar died of bovine rhinitis, a common respiratory disease among cattle, Stura said. He had been vaccinated for the disease upon arriving in Wantage, but apparently already had contracted it.
“There was nothing we could have done about it,” he said.
Stura said the bull’s death was not a secret, but that he did not seek to bring attention to it.
“People like a happy story,” he explained, adding that he was devastated by the death of his “feisty as heck” bull.
“He was happy, becoming more friendly,” Stura said.
The bull’s Oct. 17 escape in Brooklyn drew national attention, with astonished pedestrians posting videos of what some mistakenly assumed was a cow.
— Animal Care Centers (@NYCACC) October 17, 2017
Stura said he received more than 200 phone calls as the drama played out on cable television.
The bull appeared to do its best to avoid people on the streets of Brooklyn. The only injury was to a 1-year-old who suffered a black eye after being knocked over while with his mother.
Shankar was eventually trapped and tranquilized on a soccer field in Prospect Park. Hours later, Jimmy Kimmel featured the bull’s escape on his late-night talk show.
Shankar was a brahman bull, which references a breed of cattle in the U.S. that was brought from India. The name means, “one who brings about happiness or prosperity.”
Stura’s 232-acre farm is located 54 miles northwest of New York City and is home to more than three dozen cattle, in addition to pigs, chickens, goats, ducks, geese and turkeys.
It remains home to a second celebrity bull, Freddie, famed for making a similar escape in Queens in January 2016.
Asked about Freddie, Stura said he remains well, is 3 years old and has grown to about 2,000 pounds.