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Baltimore police shoot cow

Baltimore police shot and killed a steer that escaped from a city slaughterhouse on a downtown street Friday morning, a spokeswoman said.

The animal was shot shortly after 10:15 a.m. in the Mount Vernon neighbourhood, and police confirmed it escaped from the George G. Ruppersberger and Sons Inc. slaughterhouse in west Baltimore.

Sgt. Sarah Connolly said police received calls from business owners concerned about the animal running loose. The neighbourhood is home to numerous bars, restaurants and shops.

The animal was "increasingly aggressive," and officers made several attempts to trap it before killing it, police said on the department's Facebook page.

Sam Wirtz, who lives three blocks away, said he was walking to visit a friend when he saw the animal running down the street.

"I was trying to get other people to get the hell out of the way," he said.

Wirtz, who grew up around livestock in Texas, said he heard four shots but didn't see the animal fall.

"This is normal for me, just not in Baltimore city," he said.

After the shooting, police moved their cars to block from view the dark-colored animal, which was lying on its side next to a black pickup with limbs straight out.

The carcass was hauled away by representatives of a company that recycles restaurant grease and animal byproducts.

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