Success, finally, among multiple mishaps for bulls missing in Upper Hutt bush
Nineteen bulls emerged from rugged Upper Hutt bush, bedraggled and bewildered, into the heart of suburbia.
Fresh from a night which some had spent hanging in trees or tangled in fences, they were herded from the bush about 9.30am on Wednesday but the drama – especially for startled Pinehaven residents, north of Wellington – was far from over.
The herd were heading for the meat works when the trailer they were in tipped in Blue Mountains Rd in Upper Hutt on Tuesday night.
Luke Wood, who had been the owner of 18 of the bulls, said all but three tumbled from the trailer and 50 metres down a steep bank.
A makeshift fence was installed on Tuesday night to keep them in the valley and on Wednesday morning farmers and lifestylers went into the bush to herd them to suburban Elmslie Rd, Pinehaven.
When they got into the bush they found the animals tangled in bush and stuck in trees needing to be cut free. One – a one-tonne beast named Blue Eyes – had a steel spike poking him.
But, in what Wood described as a "miracle", all the beasts were herded into suburbia unharmed.
But that was far from the saga's end as the 19 bulls had other ideas and kept disappearing up driveways into back yards, to the surprise of residents.
One elderly lady poked her head out the window to find it surrounded by shouting herders, a swearing farmer, and confused and startled bulls.
Eventually, and after many mishaps, and including an encounter with a wasp nest, the bulls made their way down Elmslie Rd, up Forest Rd, onto Blue Mountains Rd, and back to farmland, where people know to keep their gates shut. They are also more accepting of bovines eating their bushes.
But, even then, the drama continued. After a long and wet trek down Blue Mountains Rd the bulls found a hole in a fence and went for a snack of grass.
Before embarking on Wednesday's dramatic rescue, Robinson said the huge hand-reared "big red one" was expected to lead the herd out due to its closeness to people.
While this did not come to pass, Blue Eyes was leading the pack on some of the suburban getaways.
A crane was being brought in on Wednesday to remove the trailer unit which was cut away from the truck on Tuesday night.
After the herd were past the tipped trailer where their adventure began, Gerard Eden who had helped in the rescue, said it had never been an option to leave the bulls alone in the bush.
"You don't just leave 19 bulls behind in Pinehaven."
Finally, they made it to a paddock but are unlikely to live happily ever after.
They had already been sold to the meat works.
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