Reporting Michael Rosenfield
EPPING, N.H. (CBS) — For months, a New Hampshire boy saved his pennies to buy a calf but before the animal was even inside the fence at his family’s home, it ran away.
“He went crazy, he bolted,” says 9-year-old Ryan Hoelzel, who owned the calf for just a few minutes before it took off. “He was like a soda bottle. You know how you shake up a soda bottle and you open it and it goes everywhere? That’s what he did.”
Hoelzel had planned to show the calf he named “Panda” in several 4-H fairs this summer. He had saved up $350 for the purchase.
“I did it with all my Christmas money, Easter money, birthday money, and any kind of money I got,” says the fourth-grade student from Epping.
But the 500-pound calf was bullish, going every which way as he was being dropped off at the family’s farm.
Panda eventually hopped a 4-foot fence and was gone, and there are plenty of places to hide.
There are 125 acres on the family property alone.
Dozens of neighbors and friends, and even police have helped search.
There have been sightings but so far, no one has been able to catch up with the wayward calf.
If he is caught, he may have to go back to the farm where he came from.
“We’re going to try to send it back,” says Ryan’s mother Mary Hoelzel. “Ryan would like to get another, smaller cow. This one has scared him. It’s not an appropriate match for us.”
Until then, the family is hoping Panda keeps safe from the coyotes and bears, as well as the traffic from the nearby roads.
“I don’t want him to get hurt,” says Ryan.