BELFAST, Maine — Even though Renys advertises itself as “A Maine Adventure,” employee Beth Young was unprepared for an unusual visitor to the Belfast store this weekend: a lost calf.
The calf, which apparently escaped last week from a vehicle parked outside of Tractor Supply on Route 3, wandered the city for several days. Its travels — and folks’ largely fruitless efforts to catch it — were broadcast on social media and captured the attention of many in Belfast.
When Young arrived at work Sunday morning, the light brown calf with a rope around its neck was behind the store. She and another employee tried their best to lure it to safety, but had no luck. The calf started walking toward them, but then some other people came up and inadvertently startled it, she said.
“It went back into the woods,” she said. “We were hoping we could catch it. It was spooked, big time. You could tell it was really scared, I think because of the traffic and everybody chasing it.”
After an eventful stretch of days, which included sightings at the athenahealth parking lot, the Family Dollar and the Belfast Armory on Route 1, the calf now is safe and off the roads, according to Deputy Chief Dean Jackson of the Belfast Police Department.
“My understanding is that somebody has it in a pen,” he said Tuesday. “I’m just glad it didn’t get hit. It was running around in different spots throughout the town for a few days. It let you get just so close and then it took off. We couldn’t get close to it. We tried.”
One of the places where the police tried to catch the animal was in the parking lot by athenahealth, where it appeared on Thursday. A video taken there shows the calf running through the parking lot, handily evading all efforts to catch it.
“I respected its determination,” Jackson Hustus, who works in the area and took the video, wrote. “It ‘cowtowed’ to no one.”
The calf’s owner lives in Washington County, Jackson said, and has been notified. A manager of the Tractor Supply, who declined to give his name, said he didn’t know too much about how it got loose. He heard that the woman who had the calf had been trying to rescue it and a chicken but he didn’t know the details.
“We have animals come in,” the manager said. “But not roaming the parking lot.”
However it got loose, Jackson said, he was glad that the calf’s adventure ended safely.
“It caused quite a stir,” he said.
Young also is relieved that the calf is off the roads and presumably won’t be making any more unexpected trips to Renys.
“You never know what you’re going to see in here,” she said.