Ricardo, the bull that rose to fame and captured hearts when he trotted along New Jersey Transit tracks in December, has been fighting an infection since Christmas, according to the animal sanctuary that rescued him, but is doing “great.”
“Ricardo is doing great, he’s on the mend, and we’re waiting for the wound to be totally healed, and then we’ll bring him home,” said Mike Stura, the president and founder of Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.
In a Christmas Eve update on Facebook, Skylands posted a video from Cornell Large Animal Hospital featuring Ricardo.
A voiceover said Ricardo had had an abrasion — described in a later post as a “half-dollar sized road rash” — on his right hind leg since the sanctuary got him.
It took Ricardo to the vet, and he was put on antibiotics for the problem. At the time, he was fine, the voice said.
But on Christmas Eve, employees at the sanctuary noticed it looked “inflamed” and made the 3½-hour trip to Cornell, “where they work miracles for us,” the voice said.
Cornell vets sedated Ricardo to flush out and clean the wound, Skylands said in a Christmas Day update. They also took X-rays and an ultrasound scan of Ricardo’s leg, showing the infection hadn’t spread to his bones.
The bull was given a full leg cast to keep from bending the joint too much while he heals, the sanctuary said on Facebook.
In the weeks since, Skylands has been keeping Ricardo’s fans updated with pictures and videos while he recovers and undergoes more testing and wound cleaning.
Whenever it can visit, the team posts updates, reassuring followers that he has been a good boy while fighting the pesky infection.
By Jan. 14, the sanctuary said that, “slowly, but surely,” Ricardo “seems to be getting better.”
Stura told NBC News on Thursday that the hospital “has a handle” on Ricardo’s infection and that all that’s left is “a bit of a wound.”
The employees at Skylands said in an update Tuesday that Ricardo will stay at Cornell until he is fully healed.
“We will not be putting him at risk of developing another infection to save money or so I can feel happy that he is here with us,” the sanctuary said on Facebook. “Ricardo’s health comes before anything else.”
Stura said Ricardo will call Skylands home for the rest of his life. Once he’s cleared to return, the sanctuary will isolate him for a few days to be sure he is OK before he joins the larger group of animals who also live there.