A 1,600-pound bull heading to market got loose in the east metro, darting in and out of rush-hour traffic Wednesday morning until it was fatally shot by law enforcement, authorities said.

The running of the bull began about 7:30 a.m. near Manning Avenue and Hudson Road, just south of Interstate 94, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. It had been loose since late Tuesday.

The bull was being hauled in a trailer along I-94, when the driver exited at Manning Avenue, said Woodbury police spokeswoman Michelle Okada. It was then that the bull broke through the trailer’s gate. It kept a low profile overnight, she said. Shortly before 9 a.m. Wednesday, a Woodbury police officer and a sheriff’s deputy “dispatched” the bull, and it was collected by its owner, said Sheriff’s Sgt. Thomas Stafford.

“We actually explored the option [of tranquilizing] and had that option out there,” the sergeant said. “But when you are dealing with a 1,600-pound bull,” there was a concern that the animal would remain a safety risk. The bull’s owner gave permission to have it shot, Stafford added.

Paul Walsh