Ramazan Eğri / Kocaeli, Sep 23 () - A bull, which had been bought in Turkey’s western province of Kocaeli to be sacrificed as part of an Islamic ritual for the Feast of Sacrifice starting on Sept. 24, escaped and ran for its life toward Istanbul on a main highway for two hours while blocking traffic early Sept. 23.
The bull, which was purchased from the Şekerpınar animal bazaar in Kocaeli, escaped from its restraining leash as it was being loaded into a vehicle at around 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 23.
The bull started running towards the main highway connecting Turkey to Europe, the Trans-European Motorway (TEM), heading west toward Istanbul.First the owner, Cemil Arslan, and four of his relatives started chasing the bull before highway police and highway staff also followed suit to catch the stampeding bull.
Police blocked highway traffic during the chase to avoid any accidents, which caused a traffic jam.
The bull managed to evade multiple attempts to block its path, while it also avoided being lassoed by a police officer.
The bull, which wounded its foot during the chase, was finally caught only eight kilometers outside of Istanbul near the highway exit to the Kurtköy neighborhood after a two-hour chase and taken to a nearby area.
During the Feast of Sacrifice, livestock including sheep, cows, bulls, goats and camels are sacrificed every year in the name of God as part of an Islamic tradition in Turkey and across other predominantly Muslim countries. The meat obtained from the sacrificed animals is distributed to the poor as a religious tradition in Islam, while a portion can also kept for the family who purchased the animal and sacrificed it.