A pair of escaped steers caused quite a commotion in View Royal and Saanich on Tuesday afternoon and one of them forced police to shut down the Trans Canada Highway for almost an hour.
The two black steers managed to escape from a trailer that apparently had problems as it was being towed near the TCH and Helmcken Road. While one of the animals was rounded up and secured fairly quickly, the other wanted no part of getting caught. It led officers from Saanich police and West Shore RCMP, View Royal firefighters and animal control officials on a chase that ended up with more than a dozen individuals surrounding the errant steer off Portage Road – on the opposite side of the TCH.
"That's definitely a first for me," said View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst, whose crew was called out to help police when it was determined the animals were in their coverage area. "As our guys were coming up Helmcken (Road), the (steers were) in the play yard for Jeneece Place (next to VGH)."
After the first steer was lassoed, the second one made its way onto the northbound off ramp to Helmcken and was boxed in by the collection of responders, Hurst said. Traffic was shut down both ways at one point during the chase. The animal managed to elude capture on the north side of the TCH and made its way across the grassy median to the Portage Inlet side.
It was eventually surrounded on a grassy piece of property on Portage Road, roped and led back into the trailer, but not before dragging a handful of individuals around.
Saanich police got involved when a call came in just before noon from someone stating cows were loose at the Trans Canada Highway and McKenzie Avenue, said Saanich police Sgt. Steve Eassie.
"But as we got to the area, we were able to determine it was actually at the Trans-Canada Highway and Helmcken in View Royal," he said. "Our officers remained in the area with two of our animal control officers as well in the interest of public safety and to assist West Shore RCMP."
Eassie said it took better part of an hour to get the second steer back in the trailer.