1 year after 'Stormy the Cow' escapes, no live nativity scene at Old City church

WPVI logo
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
1 year after Stormy escapes, church changes focus
1 year after Stormy escapes, church changes focus. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News Mornings on December 12, 2018.

OLD CITY (WPVI) -- It was right around this time last year that 'Stormy' the cow broke free from a live nativity at an Old City Church.

Stormy the cow escapes twice, replaced by understudy Ginger: Sarah Bloomquist reports on Action News at 6 p.m., December 14, 2017

But this year, the congregation is doing something different.

A refugee tent now stands at Old First Reformed United Church of Christ at 4th and Race streets.

The church says it wants to highlight today's immigration issues.

Last year, the church was criticized over the proper treatment of animals when 'Stormy' escaped.

If you've forgotten about 'Stormy,' let's refresh your memory.

It was around 2:15 a.m. on Thursday, December 14, 2017, when 'Stormy' made her escape from the church.

Police received calls of a cow walking on I-95 southbound near Callowhill Street.

Loose cow corralled on I-95. Katherine Scott reports during Action News at 6 a.m. on December 14, 2017.

Pennsylvania State Police, Philadelphia police, and animal control worked to corral her.

Action Cam: Police corral a cow on I-95 on December 14, 2017.

One of the state troopers who responded to the scene owned a horse and cattle ranch in South Jersey and knew how to handle the situation. They put a lead rope on the cow and walked her to a nearby parking lot with police vehicles in tow to shepherd 'Stormy' in the right direction.

Action Cam: Cow on the loose on I-95 on December 14, 2017.

From the lot, she was taken back to the church where she returned to her friends in the live nativity scene.

But 'Stormy's' journey did not end there! She made her second escape around 6:20 a.m.

At first, she got out into the churchyard and remained near the enclosure. However, moments later, 'Stormy' made her way onto Race Street right in front of the Action News crew.

Cow escapes again: Katherine Scott reports during Action News at 6:30 a.m. on December 14, 2017.

Reverend Michael Caine tried to urge the 1,500 pound 'Stormy' back into the yard, as Action News reporter Katherine Scott called 911. Action News photographer Chuck Purnell alerted drivers of the cow in the roadway.

'Stormy,' a 7.5-year-old Hereford, then turned off Race and onto 4th Street.

Cow gets loose again in Old City on December 14, 2017.

The cow then made her way to the upper level of a parking garage at 4th and Arch streets where she was eventually cornered and returned back to the church.

'Stormy the Cow' captured in parking garage on December 14, 2017.

Reverend Caine told 6abc at the time that people had expressed concern about the animals being in the cold. Caine said the nativity scene has been part of the church since 1973.

He said there was a farmer on hand who cared for the animals and a veterinarian tech worked with them, as well.

After her escapades, 'Stormy' was returned to the church, but then taken back to Manatawna Farm in Roxborough.


Send a News Tip to Action News

Learn More About 6abc Apps