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los angeles cows

via KTLA 5 / YouTube

A little after 7:30 on Tuesday night, Los Angeles County Sheriffs received multiple reports about a herd of cows running through the streets of Pico Rivera, a city 11 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

This Twitter video does a perfect job of encapsulating the surprise residents felt when they saw 40 cows running through their quiet suburban neighborhood.

"They went into somebody's yard," the shocked woman exclaims as another bystander follows the cows yelling, "Mooo!" while capturing the bizarre scene on his phone.

The cows bolted out of a meat-packing plant after someone accidentally left a gate open. The cows ran through yards and tore through chain-link fences but luckily there weren't any serious injuries.

One cow charged a family of four, knocking them to the ground. They were taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries. Unfortunately, the cow was shot and killed by a sheriff's deputy to prevent further harm.

Authorities brought in a team of experienced ranchers and police on horseback to attempt to corral the cows. "Once they start running, they get scared, they get anxious, and they just don't want to stop running," one rancher said. "So, you've got to give them the time and the proper procedures for how to capture them."

Most of the cows were corralled on a cul-de-sac while the ranchers and police worked to pick up the remaining strays. One ranger attempted to lasso a cow, but was dragged "a couple hundred feet" by the animal because it was "too heavy."

One resident noted that the sheriff's cars were following the cows side-by-side "like they're a bunch of presidents or something."

Most of the cows were herded into trailers about three hours after the initial reports. But one wily cow kept authorities busy until somewhere around 11:00 pm. In the end, the 39 surviving cows were returned safely to the meat processing plant.

The sad part about the story is that even though 39 made it back to the meat-packing plant safely, they won't be safe for too long. The stampede out of the plant was most likely the last chance at freedom for the animals before they were slaughtered.

"All I know is that they were running for their lives and they are probably free for the very first time and anybody would want to escape," witness Ginger Gaxiola told KABC.

PETA issued a statement regarding the incident.

"PETA wishes the cows who escaped from a slaughterhouse into a Pico Rivera, California, neighborhood on Tuesday had made it to freedom, something they fought hard to gain, instead of being rounded up and returned to the slaughterhouse or — in one cow's case — being shot on the scene by law enforcement," a statement said.

Cows escape slaughterhouse in Pico Rivera; 1 shot by deputies working to round them upwww.youtube.com