You’ve probably heard the phrase “bull in a china shop.” But what about a steer in a pet store?
Well, that is exactly what a PetCo outside of Houston (because of course this was in Texas) found itself with on March 18 when customer Vincent Browning and his fiance, Shelly Lumpkin, decided to conduct a thorough test of the store’s friendly attitude toward animals.
“We decided to take a chance and call Petco ‘s bluff on the ‘ALL LEASHED PETS ARE WELCOME’ policy,” Browning wrote in a Facebook post.
So Browning put a leash on his pet Oliver and went to the store. Except Oliver is not a dog, or a cat, or even a pig. Oliver is an African Watsui steer, Browning says. (The Ankole-Watusi is an American domesticated cattle breed derived from Africa.) If you are not aware of this breed, well, let me put this in simple terms: Oliver is a ginormous steer with ginormouser horns.
But while Oliver might be a one-ton pet, he is still a pet, and the store happily allowed him inside, though he stuck to the main entrance since the aisles might have led to some merchandise being knocked off the shelves.
“The awesome crew at Petco – Atascocita did not disappoint!!” Browning wrote. “They welcomed Oliver the African Watusi with open arms. The staff members here are always super friendly and courteous to us. We really enjoy coming to this location…our favorite Petco BY FAR!!”
Other curious customers got to take a few photos with Oliver, who looked pretty pleased with the attention. The video quickly went viral, with more than 1.6 million views.
Petco associate Chrystal Armour told the Houston Chronicle that Browning is a regular at the store, and they were more than happy to meet Oliver, who Browning has raised since the animal was 6 months old.
“At a recent visit, they mentioned Oliver and that they’d like to bring him in one day,” Armour told the Houston Chronicle. “I said we’d love to meet him and that he could come in any time, as long as he’s domesticated and on a leash. Shortly after, they paid us an incredible visit that we won’t forget any time soon. Getting to meet such a beautiful and sweet animal was an amazing experience for all of us. We love all of our guests’ animals and the wonderful bond they share.”
[H/t: Washington Post]