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Bull watch: Barney’s disappearance in Moriches stretches to 17 days

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If Barney only knew all the fuss we were making.

Determined rescuers in Manorville continued to strike out on Thursday in their search and rescue mission for the 1,500-pound black bull who escaped from a Moriches farm on July 20 and wandered along residential streets in Mastic. Nicknamed Barney, the animal has been out of sight since slipping that day into a grassy and wooded field in Moriches.

Knowing that the bull has plenty of grass to eat and water to drink in the area he absconded to, authorities are hesitant to hastily flushing him out.

“The best thing that people can do if they see him is call 911 and stay from him. They shouldn’t go looking for him,” said John Di Leonardo, president of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature, one of several rescue groups participating the search for Barney.

“We don’t want to chase him out into a residential area or into a roadway,” he added, noting the bull is not far from Sunrise Highway. “We don’t want anyone spooking him.”

The idea is to have Barney become so comfortable in his surroundings that he will acquiesce and trot into a temporary coral set up at the edge of the field he is in. Rescuers set up the coral and put treats inside to entice Barney.

Rescuers early on brought a menstruating cow to the field in hopes she would lure Barney from hiding. It didn’t work. Once the bull is safely captured, he will be taken to Skylands Sanctuary & Rescue in Watage, New Jersey, where he will live out his days safe from harm.

Jaeger’s Run Animal Rescue Inc. has helped raise more than $2,500 to go to Sklylands for Barney’s care.

When Barney escaped, he and other farm animals were scheduled to be slaughtered as part of religious ceremonies. He had been delivered to Long Island from a farm in Texas.