A Douglas County family is recuperating from an emergency cattle roundup early Sunday in downtown Lawrence.
Jim and Beverly Springer, who keep cattle at a farm on Lakeview Road northwest of Lawrence, received a call from police early Sunday saying someone had spotted their cattle roaming in the area of Burcham Park near the Kansas River.
"They had busted through the fence," Beverly Springer said. "We think something scared them."
Eventually, the cattle - about 30 in all - wandered south to Constant Park, crossed Sixth Street and wound up in a parking lot north of the downtown post office, 645 Vt., where they were blocked in by two police cars and loaded into a truck.
The ordeal lasted until about 5:15 a.m., police said.
Beverly Springer said as she and family members were returning home, a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper called to say that another 30 cattle had been spotted loose in a field along the Kansas Turnpike.
All the cattle have since been recovered. "We were all very on edge, mainly because of the liability. Had someone hit one or had they done damage or something like that, it would have been our liability," Beverly Springer said. "More than anything, the traffic scared us since they were so close to town."
Fortunately, she said, the streets were mostly empty.