Man caught driving with 3-day-old calf in his backseat; he’s arrested


A Riverside man was arrested Wednesday after police said they found a 3-day-old, possibly stolen dairy calf in the backseat of his car.

Cesar Zamora Santana, 31, was standing outside his car in Riverside when police approached and spotted the 70-pound calf.

Santana told police he had purchased the female calf at a gas station for $200, Riverside police Officer Cheryl Hayes said.


But when officers inspected the Jersey calf, they found that its identification tags had been “forcefully” removed from its ears.

Santana was also unable to provide documentation proving that he was the calf’s rightful owner, police said.

He was taken into custody on suspicion of possessing a calf without proper documentation, as well as an outstanding warrant for a narcotics violation.

Meanwhile, it was unclear what Santana planned to do with the calf, although John Welsh, a spokesman for Riverside County Animal Services, said thefts involving dairy cows are “definitely more common than people think.”

The problem with calf thefts is that the thieves are hardly ever caught, he said.

Still, he called the Riverside arrest “a bizarre situation.”

Until authorities figure out who the rightful owner is, the calf is being cared for and is receiving bottle feedings at a dairy farm in Ontario.


Anyone with information about the calf, or who may know its rightful owner, is urged to call the county’s animal services office at (951) 358-7045.

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