Ricky the bull had a big adventure on Sunday. Left alone in his field in Meridian, he decided break out and take a walk down Locust Grove Road. The large, adult male ended up free roaming the streets, stopping traffic, and very interested in entering the Chamberlain Estates subdivision near Locust Grove and Ustick roads.
The Meridian Fire Department already was on scene and they were calling in to Meridian Police to help with traffic control while they corralled the animal. That’s when Ada County Paramedic battalion chief Linda Scopelliti happened by. She was driving to do a routine check on one of her stations when she saw the engine and heard the call for backup. She got out of her vehicle to help.
“That what I love about my job,” Scopelliti said. “Some days are good, some are bad, then there are days like these that just make you giggle.”
This is one of the most unusual things she’s faced in her 20-year-career, she said, but first responders find themselves dealing with livestock and wildlife more often than you’d think.
One of the bystanders knew the bull and its owner and told Scopelliti that the bull had refused to go with the rest of the heard to another pasture. The rancher had left Ricky on his own until he could come back and get him.
This could have turned bad quickly if the bull had charged or been hit by a car.
“People don’t realize how big a bull really is until you’re right in front of one,” she said. “He was longer than the front of my Yukon. He could do some damage.”
She used the lights on her rig to stop traffic and the firefighters herded the bull on foot. Scopelliti and the firefighters were able to herd Ricky away from the subdivision, out of the street and into a nearby field. The owner was contacted and was on his way to retrieve Ricky.