Prized Japanese Black is later found in a very unusual place.

Wagyu, Japanese beef, has earned international acclaim for its rich flavor and buttery texture. But even within that exalted category, kuroge wagyu, also known as Japanese Black, is the most highly prized.

So when potential buyers gathered for an auction at the Aira Central Livestock Market in the town of Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture, many were no doubt eager to bid on a roughly 400-kilogram (880-pound) Japanese Black that was being offered for sale. However, the cow was apparently in no mood to be bought.

As it was being offloaded from the truck it had been shipped in, the animal began to act increasingly agitated. Several facility staff members tried to calm the cow, but to no avail, as it shook them all off and made a dash for its freedom, escaping into the town.

The incident occurred at around 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 14, and for about an hour, no one knew where the Japanese Black was. But then around noon a group of kids spotted something in the Amorigawa River, about two kilometers (1.2 miles) from the market.

▼ Amorigawa River

“Grandpa, there’s a cow swimming!” they told their grandfather, and other local residents also reported seeing the runaway “dog paddling” down the waterway (“cow paddling” not being an established term, because, well, they don’t usually get to swim).

However, Kirishima is a coastal city, and if left to swim/drift too far, the cow would eventually hit the waters of Kagoshima Bay. Before that happened, a squad of police officers (perhaps because there were no sumo wrestlers in the area) arrived on-scene and managed to coax the animal to the river bank, where it was eventually recaptured some six hours after its escape.

With no bids having been placed, the cow was returned to its current owners and taken back to the ranch. The livestock market’s next auction is scheduled for June 24, but it’s unknown whether the owners will be offering the cow again, or whether they’ve decided that it’s daring escape has earned it some extra time off the auction block.

Source: NHK News Web via Hachima Kiko, The Sankei News
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