Escaped Cow

Its Been 7 Months and No One's Gotten Close to Catching the Escaped Cow of Anchorage

This escaped cow has lasted in the wild since the last Anchorage Rodeo seven months ago.

A black cow by the name of Betsy has been evading capture in Far North Bicentennial Park, a swath of thick woods totaling roughly 4,000 acres near the edge of the Anchorage city limits.

The 3-year-old cow slipped out of the pen she was kept in during the annual rodeo celebration on Father's Day weekend 2018, and wouldn't succumb to the efforts of her owner that day, or the many days to follow.

"I'm just totally exhausted from looking day in and day out," Frank Koloski, Betsy's owner, told The Washington Post. "She's a go-getter, that's for sure."

How, exactly, a cow escapes from a pen outside a rodeo is beyond Koloski. There's a recreational area for skiing, cycling, and hiking close by where she was penned, and he assumes she took to the slopes of the ski area for a quick getaway.

It's not like Betsy hasn't been spotted. Koloski told The Post that he's dealt with numerous near-misses, and gets woken up by phone calls from the Anchorage Police Department that residents who live near the park reported a cow on the loose.

Every opportunity he's thought he had disintegrates. "I go out there, I'm standing in her tracks and she's nowhere to be found," he said.

Officers from the Anchorage PD tried searching for the runaway cow with an infrared-equipped drone as part of a training exercise. But two hours were wasted without a sighting to speak of.

The area's harsh winters should be no surprise to anyone, and the dark woods barely seem like a place a rodeo cow would survive, let alone find comfort.

The Post reports that there's "still plenty of natural sources of water" in the rugged forest and that Koloski has left hay bales and mineral salt licks out to continue his efforts. He even mentioned that there were "patches of green grass to be found under the overhang of the trees."

Until then, he's left at the mercy of the cross-country skiers or mountain bikers who frequent the area in the winter. He's not about to charge into the woods without a clue as to where Betsy is.

"You're talking thousands of acres out there," Koloski said. "There's white snow in the ground, but there's black spruce trees that she blends into. She's my ghost in the darkness."