Searchers on the ground and in a sheriff's department helicopter Monday were looking for an Angus steer that postponed its date with a slaughterhouse by bolting out a gate that had been inadvertently left open.

The more than 1,000-pound animal escaped from a slaughterhouse holding pen Monday morning and ran into the woods of suburban Cincinnati, according to Colerain Township police and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

The steer was last seen heading into woods several blocks north of Stehlin's Meat Market and Interstate 275, said Dick Stehlin, co-owner of the meatpacking business. He said the bovine should be approached with caution.

"It's not, say, a mean animal or anything like that, it's just sort of in a panic stage," Stehlin said. "It's just out running, not even knowing where it's heading."

It's not the first time a steer has been on the loose in the Cincinnati area. In September 2006, a steer named Little Red ran from a fair and eluded capture for three days.