The rogue bull who captured hearts across the country when he disrupted NJ Transit service for tens of thousands of people as he raced along the tracks in Newark last month is battling a life-threatening infection, according to the sanctuary that took him in.
Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in Wantage said Ricardo is now “at the best large animal hospital on the planet” and doing better each day. Skylands sent him there Christmas Eve after noticing a tiny wound on his leg suddenly appeared inflamed.
He had a half-dollar-sized road rash on his leg when Skylands picked him up a week and a half earlier, the sanctuary says, but he was cleared after treatment with antibiotics and vaccinations and able to join the other animals ( like a cow that ran amok in Brooklyn in March).
It’s not clear what that injury was from, but it turned into an infection, according to the staff at Cornell Large Animal Hospital, which is where Skylands brought him. The animal hospital began treating Ricardo for the infection. He was sedated, the area was debrided and cleaned and the bull had “many x-rays and ultrasounds” to assess potential risk.
Skylands said in a Facebook post this week hospital workers put a hard cast on Ricardo’s leg to keep it from bending, which they hoped would expedite the healing process.
“He continues to get the wound cleaned and receive the medicine he needs,” Skylands wrote. “He is doing better, and the infection seems to be less and less.”
Skylands is about three hours away from the hospital, but says it gets daily updates on his status and looks forward to bringing him home whenever the veterinarians at Cornell say his wound is completely healed.
Bull on Newark Penn Station tracks causes chaos
Ricardo caused a stir when he was spotted on the tracks at Newark Penn Station late one Thursday morning, Dec. 14. Officials say the bull made his way to the transit hub after escaping somewhere closer to Newark International Airport, prompting delays of up to 45 minutes across the river. Police were eventually able to corral him in a fenced lot.
No injuries were reported.
Ricardo quickly became famous after his stunt on the tracks, with NJ Transit debuting a plush version of him for sale — and sending part of the proceeds directly to Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue to help with his care.
The December frenzy was not the first rodeo for emergency personnel when it comes to lassoing a rogue bull disrupting transit in the NYC area. In 2021, a loose bull forced a highway shutdown on Long Island. Another caused a stir on the streets of Brooklyn a few years earlier.