By David Ingram
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A runaway bull led New York City police on a wild chase after escaping from a slaughterhouse on Tuesday, but the animal died after being cornered in someone's backyard, officials said.
During the chase, TV news helicopter video footage showed one fruitless capture attempt after another in the borough of Queens.
Police officers tried and failed to use their patrol cars to box the raging bull in, and at one point it dashed away from one gathering of onlookers only to rush toward others.
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No injuries were reported but the videos, broadcast live online, made the plucky bull a short-lived social media star and Queens briefly became the top trending subject on Twitter.
"NYPD vs. cow. Cow keeps winning," Kansas City television reporter Brian Abel tweeted, using the acronym for the New York City Police Department.
After more than two hours, the bull entered the backyard of a home in the Jamaica neighborhood, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the slaughterhouse, and police sedated and captured it, said Sergeant Lee Jones, a police spokesman.
It was later declared dead, and although the cause was not immediately known, stress may have been a factor, Detective Ahmed Nasser said. The body was being sent to a crematorium on Long Island, he said.
The New York Post said the bull was shot with at least five tranquilizer darts by police before it died.
(Reporting by David Ingram; Editing by Tom Brown)