updated 5/7/2009 9:57:20 AM ET 2009-05-07T13:57:20

A cow has escaped from a New York City slaughterhouse and may have a new lease on life.

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Police say the black heifer bolted Wednesday afternoon from Musa Hala Inc., which butchers animals according to religious restrictions.

It wandered in Queens for nearly a mile before police captured it an hour later and took it to an Animal Care and Control center, where it was nicknamed Molly.

Officials there are looking into whether Molly can be placed at a farm sanctuary or must be returned for slaughter. It depends on whether anyone claims her.

In 2002, an Ohio cow jumped a 6-foot fence to escape from a Cincinnati meatpacking plant and ran free in a park for 10 days. She was nicknamed Cinci Freedom.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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