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Wayward cow causes brief freeway backups near Medford

A cow left its pasture near Phoenix and trotted north on Interstate 5 Tuesday morning, causing brief delays and congestion between Phoenix and Medford.

The Oregon Department of Transportation reported the incident just after 8:30 a.m., saying multiple cows were in the road and blocking the northbound lanes. ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming later said it was a single animal that ventured northbound, weaving back and forth on the freeway and causing traffic to slow to a crawl. 

The lanes cleared within 10 minutes, but responding agencies herded the animal to the exit 27 northbound off-ramp, which caused brief delays there, too.

"We cornered it there at 27 and saved the cow," Leaming said, adding the owner has since retrieved the animal.

The off-ramp cleared by 9:15 a.m. No crashes or injuries were reported.