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Ricardo the Bull’s PATH to Freedom Ran Through Newark Penn Station

"I thought maybe it was a Red Bulls PR stunt or something like that."

9:53 AM EST on December 15, 2023

Ricardo the bull at Newark Penn Station.

(Courtesy New Jersey Transit)

If you fight hard enough for something righteous, you will win.

This maxim is rarely true, and there are plenty of crummy causes out there, but those of us living in the tri-state area received a useful reminder of the power of direct action on Thursday morning, when a bull escaped confinement and made his way onto the train tracks of Newark's Penn Station.

While it's unclear where exactly the bull came from (the New York Times reported there was a "meat wholesaler" nearby), the tags on his ears made it abundantly obvious what it was escaping: death at the hands of humans who wanted to chop him up and devour his flesh. 

The bull first appeared on Newark Penn's tracks at 10:30 a.m., trotting back and forth, causing New Jersey's long-afflicted rail system to grind to a halt (yes, there's a metaphor for that too, this bull contains multitudes).

Video of the bull approaching Penn Station shows an animal with a determined gait. There's nothing frenzied or careless here.

"I thought maybe it was a Red Bulls PR stunt or something like that, considering the stadium was right there," one train rider told WABC. "But yeah, he was just trotting along."

After 45 minutes, police captured and sedated the bull, and apparently did not spend very much time trying to locate who had lost it. Because at 1:48 p.m., the Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in Wantage, New Jersey, posted a photo of the animal, which it named Ricardo.

And then a few hours later, proof of life.

Here are some links itching to break free:

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