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NILES, Ill. – What was supposed to be a prank by high school seniors on Thursday turned into udder chaos.

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A cow got loose and ran through a suburban Chicago neighborhood until it was corraled by officials several hours later, WLS-TV reported.

According to a news release from the Niles Police Department, officers responded to an area near Northridge Preparatory School at about 2:56 a.m. CDT. Police said they encountered several students from the school, who were bringing live animals to the school in what officials called a “senior prank.”

“During the activity, a live cow escaped from the students and went into the local neighborhood,” police stated in the release.

Video from a resident captured the bovine trotting down a street as a group of students tried to chase it down, WBBM-TV reported.

Police discovered that the students bought the cow and a pig through Craigslist, according to the television station. The cow was bought near Winneconne, Wisconsin, while the pig was purchased near Dixon, Illinois.

The students were having trouble herding the wayward animal, and so were police.

“I texted my kid and said, ‘How many cops does it take to catch a runaway cow in Park Ridge?’” Rita Thorpe, 81, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Workers from Wagner Farm in nearby Glenview came with a trailer and an abundant supply of hay.

Roger Plummer was on his way home from his Newsradio shift when he captured the cow on video, WBBM reported.

“When I looked up I thought, ‘Is that cow running down the street?’ Plummer told the television station. “I yelled out (to the students), of course, ‘Why is a cow running down the street?’”

“I’m sorry sir, sometimes things like this happen,” one youth allegedly told the broadcaster.

City officials were unmoved by the prank.

The students were issued citations from the village of Niles and will be required to appear in court, the Sun-Times reported. They included disorderly conduct and animal feces accumulation not permitted.

Police said school administrators “refused to pursue any criminal charges,” but that they were conducting an internal investigation, according to an updated news release.