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Bull breaks free in Baltimore, returned to owner after being tranquilized

Neighbors and students at Coppin State University gathered to watch and film the wayward bovine.

A bull broke loose from a trailer and briefly roamed the streets of Baltimore on Wednesday before being tranquilized and safely returned to its owner.

The animal was headed to its home, 50 miles west of the city at Hedgeapple Farm in Frederick, Maryland, when the beast made a sudden break for freedom in west Baltimore, according to the bull's owner and farm executive director Scott Barao.

"My farm manager was stopped at a red light ... and he said, 'The next thing I know, the bull's running alongside the trailer,' " Barao told NBC affiliate told WBAL.

Neighbors and students from nearby Coppin State University gathered outside to get a look at the wandering animal and take footage with their cellphones. The bull spent much of its time on an open field on the Coppin State campus.

"Like it's big, it's not a baby!" student Jordan Tucker said to WBAL. "I thought it was going to be little, but no!"

Hours later, police and local zoo personnel got close enough to the bull to shoot it with tranquilizer darts. It eventually fell sleep and got a one-way ticket back to the farm, three hours later than scheduled.

An emotional Barao thanked first responders.

"These people were unbelievable. The restraint that they showed, they could have shot that bull two hours ago and been done with it," Barao said. "They were courteous and kind and I just own them a debt of gratitude."

The giant animal works as a breeding bull on the farm, Barao told NBC News on Thursday. He doesn't have a name, but wears a tag, with the number 33 on it.

"He is No. 33 in his ear but he is No. 1 our hearts," Barao said.