SOUTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - Several cows got loose and destroyed more than three dozen flags and grave markers at a Southampton Cemetery.
Cemetery commission members have been working to come up with an estimate of the damage, but with the recent weather and foggy conditions it's hard to see much of anything.
The incident happened Monday morning. Christopher Clark says a herd of about seven cows escaped from the pasture across the street from his house on High Street.
"I'm on my way to my first appointment, and I see the cows over there by my mailbox and they were walking down the street," said Clark outside his home Wednesday morning. "I happened to know the owner of the cows, his name is Henry. And I gave him a call and I told him they were on their way down to Cedarherst," said the longtime Southampton resident.
The animals traveled less than a mile until they got to the Southampton Center Cemetery; where as of Wednesday afternoon, you could still notice the hoof marks in the snow. Cemetery commissioners say the animals ate plantings, damaged 40 American flags and possibly just as many bronze markers.
Drivers called police as neighbors like Tom Cross, who owns a horse farm nearby, helped corral the animals.
"[The] police department wasn't too far behind. [We] got them in the cemetery, threw them a bail of hay and held them until the owner came along," said King Oak Farm Owner, Tom Cross.
Cross says the cows are now back in their pasture. Southampton Police told the Daily Hampshire Gazette that roaming cows looking for greener pastures is an "ongoing problem." Something that comes as no surprise to those who live in this small farm town.
"We've had some of our horses get loose and run up the road. Anything can spook them, something might have been in the field, that got their cows to run out. I know I've had bears come through our field," said Cross.
Cemetery Commissioner Robert Floyd told 22News they do plan on asking the owner of the cows to pay for the damaged property. But before that happens, the estimate must be approved by the town's cemetery commission at their next meeting.