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A Michigan highway turned pretty wild over Memorial Day weekend. Lester, a two-ton steer, got loose on a stretch of highway full of cars. While a steer on the highway is newsworthy alone, things only get crazier from there. Behind Lester was a cowboy chasing the animal down on horseback to keep him from getting hurt. The cowboy chased the bovine onto the highway, lassoing him with the police close behind

A man on a horse chasing a steer down the highway
Cowboys chasing steer | Michigan State Police

How did a cow get on the interstate? 

Lester was on a mission. Though no one can blame him, Lester has a bit of a history of escaping. According to the Associated Press, Lester had been on the lam for around six weeks when this rowdy video was shot. CarScoops reports that he had only been at the ranch where the rescuing cowboy works because he had escaped from an animal rescue facility. Now that we have a better idea of Lester’s mysterious ways, we can more easily understand how this highway rodeo happened. 

Cowboy wrangles steer on the highway

This story is already a beautifully American tale that deserves sharing. However, the video accompanying the events is what sets this whole thing over the edge. 

CarScoops reports that along with the cowboy on horseback, there are also other wranglers, one on a four-wheeler and the police officer offering back up to the wranglers. The boys are pursuing Lester northbound on I-75 in Holly, MI, about 60 miles northwest of Detroit. We see the man on horseback patrolling the tree line for any signs of Lester. About halfway through the video, Lester breaks the treeline and heads for the blacktop. The cowboy pursues until he gets a rope around Lester’s neck. Before the cowboy can get ol’ Lester under control, he makes a break for the median. 

Despite the MSP Second District Twitter account stating that “Troopers shut down north and southbound lanes of I-75 for safety,” the video tells a different story. Cars are moving along on both sides of the road. 

Once in the median, Lester makes another bold move, jumps the guard, and hops into incoming traffic. Despite the alarming situation at the end of the video, Lester was corralled without injury shortly after the video ended. 

Steer clear of the cow

The event was quite the show, but it all worked out well in the end. Even the police had jokes

“Eventually, after much tomfoolery, the critter was captured and removed from the freeway,” the state police wrote on Twitter. “Troopers reopened the freeway, and things quickly got back to normal. The bovine was not charged and is back in the pasture with a story to tell all the other livestock.”