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Cows on the moove: 14 bovine mosey 2 miles from home

Cows running loose Lindenhurst subdivision. |  Lindenhurst Police

Cows running loose in a Lindenhurst subdivision. | Lindenhurst Police

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Lindenhurst residents on Federal Parkway couldn’t wait for the cows to go home Thursday, May 30, after 14 bovine sauntered two miles from Antioch to their subdivision where they munched Hostas and a garden, tipped over a bird bath and trampled a small decorative backyard fence.

With help from strategically placed snow fencing and eight ranch hands, more than two dozen neighbors near Engle Memorial Park held hands with Lindenhurst police, public works and park district employees to herd the cows back into a trailer. The cows were then driven back to the Doolittle Farm on Route 173 in Antioch Township.

“This is definitely in the top 10 (of weird police calls),” said Cmdr. Joe Moravec. “We’ve had horses and cows before, but just one or two. This definitely takes the cake.

“It was fun,” he said of the community effort. “No one got hurt and it was amazing.”

Joann Bell, a 25-year resident of the 700 block of Federal Parkway, said one cow munched on her apple tree.

“They munched my neighbor’s (vegetable) garden pretty good and he just got it in,” she said, adding that about 30 people helped form a human fence to help herd the cows back into the trailer.

“We sang ‘Home, Home on the range, two verses,” she said.

A couple of young girls, who were part of the herding team, bravely held hands while extending their other arms to keep the cows from leaving the shoreline of Lake Potamic.

“They were so cute keeping the cows at bay,” Price said. “The police officer kept telling them ‘You’re doing a good job girls.’”

It’s a day many in the neighborhood said they won’t soon forget.

“You just can’t get the smile off your face,” said Plummer, who alerted her other neighbor, Karen Price, to grab her camera and come running.

Plummer found out about the cow invasion from another neighbor who told her: “You won’t believe this.”

“What,” Plummer demanded, but all he said was “follow me.”

Lynn Doolittle said she had about eight of her workers from the farm come with trailers to pick up the cows. They had escaped earlier in the morning by finding a weak spot in the fence.

“They’ve never gotten this far away from home,” she said, explaining that high lake levels this spring weakened the posts. “When the lake went back done they found the weak spot and that’s what happened. We’ll be out fixing that fence, but we’re still going to need a canoe to do it.”

Rebecca Lab, community and support services coordinator for the Lindenhurst Police Department, said the first call came from a woman who reported a cow munching her bushes.

“No, not one, 10 cows. Then we started getting more calls,” Lab said. “They were knocking down bird baths and helping themselves to the perennials.”

They especially liked Hostas and day lilies.

“We called public works off their lunch and they brought the plastic snow fencing and stakes,” Lab said. “They volunteered to come back and pick up the cow pies and clean-up the backyards. The people in the neighborhood were very understanding and very helpful.”

James Doyle, a 24-year resident, said he had seen deer before in his backyard, but never a cow.

“I was looking out the back window when I saw the hind end of one,” he said. “I thought I heard one say ‘eat more chicken, that’s spelled ‘chikin,’” he added, referring to the Chick-fil-A commercial in which a bunch of cows urge people to eat more fowl.

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