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Two injured after bull went on loose through town

The bull being pursued by a police car. Photo: Hugh Sim

TWO PEOPLE were taken to hospital with minor injuries after being attacked by a bull which went on the run in the streets of Lerwick on Tuesday night.

Police confirmed on Wednesday morning that a woman in her 70s and a man, who is in his 40s, were taken to the Gilbert Bain after being charged at by the two year old bull.

Both received bruising and have since been released from hospital. The woman was knocked onto a pavement, whilst the man was pushed over during later attempts to place the bull in a trailer.

Sightings of the animal were first reported in the early evening in the south part of town along Sea Road, Clickimin and South Road.

The young castrated bull (a stot) was later “escorted” by police to Greenfield Place, where it was “safely contained”.

A cow had been brought into the area in an attempt to calm the bull down and the stricken animal was safely put into a trailer at around half past ten.

The animal, which is estimated to weigh up to 600 kg, had escaped from the nearby Seafield Farm.

Owner Maurice Anderson told Shetland News that the stot had become distressed after some of his cattle heard a “loud bang” close by in Lerwick.

“It sort of spooked them. One went over the fence, but the three other didn’t thankfully,” he said.

 “The one that got on its own panicked and crashed through several more fences and ended up on Sea Road.

“And it went to the roundabout at Tesco. It was headed along to Clickimin, but somebody turned it back. I hoped that if it had kept going that it would have gone onto the hill and we could get more cattle to join it.”

One eyewitness had been out taking photos of seals near the Tesco supermarket and turned round after hearing a noise to see the bull.

The bull on the loose at Lerwick's South Road on Tuesday evening. Photo: Fraser Tait

She said the animal carried on down the road and “went for” a girl who was out jogging, forcing her to jump over a wall next to the fire station.

Another woman was getting into her car at the Tesco supermarket and saw the animal charge at a group of young girls who “screamed and ran behind the wall – luckily it wandered off in the other direction”.

The bull was also seen making its way along the path behind the football pitches at Clickimin.

Police cars were seen heading towards the scene shortly before 8pm. An ambulance was also called after the frightened animal had trampled the elderly woman who was out walking.

The bull was later seen heading towards the centre of Lerwick along South Road, before arriving at Greenfield Place – the road leading towards the Kveldsro Hotel – where police cordoned off the area while others spent a considerable amount of time trying to corner the animal.

Anderson praised the work of the police in trying to keep the public safe, but stressed that he and other locals with experience of livestock were the ones involved in trying to capture the stot in Greenfield Place.

“The area had a big garden and a large wall. It seemed to be much more content in there. And then it calmed down a bit and an old cow came in to accompany it and that helped it eventually. We got high cattle gates fixed up.

“We took it out of the carrier to the farm and it’s in the byre now with some other cattle. We’ll keep it inside until its settled and ready to go off again.”

Anderson added that the runaway stot wasn’t used to human interaction and will have become alarmed as it travelled through Lerwick.

“They’re very much a herding animal and they need to be in a group. They don’t like being on their own.

“You get an older cow that maybe gets used to people more, used to being handled. But this one wasn’t used to it. They get into foreign, unfamiliar territory and they just panic.”

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