COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Ten cows are dead and one is unaccounted for after a tractor-trailer carrying 19 of them tipped over on Interstate 75 Thursday morning.
It happened on I-75 southbound at Wade Green Road in Cobb County.
Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach learned that 10 cows died, eight survived and one additional survivor got away.
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Gehlbach saw someone along the south side of I-75 in the woods keeping a lookout for the cow.
It took almost two hours for crews to upright the overturned cattle trailer and reopen some of the southbound lanes Thursday morning.
It's not something you expected to see, surviving cows calmly munching on some breakfast in the grassy shoulder on the side of I-75.
Triple Team Traffic's Mark Arum was giving live updates when he realized there were cows on the road. Arum helped get drivers around the huge backups that began at 5 a.m. on Channel 2 Action News.
The cows' meal was short-lived, lasting only until another truck could be brought in and the cattle herded onto another trailer.
They were then taken to a sales pen in north Georgia.
Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, made the following statement about the tractor-trailer accident.
"We were saddened to hear about the 10 cows who were killed in Thursday morning’s tractor-trailer accident on I-75 South. We urge authorities and others involved to safely capture any cows who are still thought to be missing and allow all of the surviving cattle the opportunity to recover from this traumatic ordeal at a sanctuary. This crash reminds us that millions of other cattle suffer silently outside of public view. Farm animals endure intolerable cruelty every day in factory farms, slaughterhouses and in transit, and their abuse is largely hidden. If you’d like to help prevent this kind of animal cruelty, please consider decreasing your consumption of meat, dairy, and other animal products."
State workers and wrecker drivers walked neighborhoods and woods along the interstate, looking for the missing cow.
"If anyone in the area finds a cow, please call the Department of Agriculture," said Jason Ray, a Marietta wrecker.
Ray said he's dealt with chickens before but never cows.
"No, that was my first cattle load," Ray said.
The driver of the tractor-trailer was not hurt. As for the missing cow, wreckers said they have a good idea of what it will be doing when they find it.
"Probably mowing somebody's grass right now," Ray said.
This is not the first time there have been animals on the busy roadways in Atlanta.