The steer, which weighs about 1,500 pounds, has been on the loose since at least Thursday when it escaped a farmer who had brought the animal to a meat processing facility in Johnston, Rhode Island, said Police Chief Joseph Razza.
Victoria Ferruccio-Flores, who started the petition, said “he’s earned the right to live out the rest of his days in peace, at a Sanctuary.”
“This guy wants to live so badly,” she said. “Anyone who tries as hard as he did deserves to enjoy the good life at a Sanctuary!”
By 2 p.m. Saturday, the petition had garnered about 2,500 signatures on Change.org.
But Razza said Friday evening the animal, which he said has been “castrated,” may pose a public safety risk.
Razza urged members of the public not to approach the steer. Authorities, including Johnston police, Providence police and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, are coordinating in an effort to catch the animal, he said.
Razza was not aware of any sightings late Friday afternoon.
“Again, this is a 1,500 pound wild animal and the public should not approach and please contact the appropriate jurisdiction if observed,” said Razza, who is aware that some in the community find the situation humorous.
“I just don’t want to see anyone get hurt,” he said. “People need to respect nature.”