A bizarre scene played out for motorists traveling along a Southern California freeway on Saturday morning when they spotted a small calf struggling to climb out of the trunk of an abandoned car.
The spectacle sparked a flurry of calls along the 10 Freeway near Highland Spring Avenue in Banning, according to the California Highway Patrol.
But what officers discovered at the scene was even more unusual.
When officers arrived, they found the calf scrambling to free itself from the trunk of a white Honda Civic stopped on the eastbound shoulder of the freeway.
Inside the car, they spotted another calf crammed into the floorboard of the backseat.
The calves' hooves had been tied together, officials said.
Officers freed the calves from their cramped quarters and moved them to a grassy area under an oak tree, according to the CHP. The driver was nowhere to be found, officials said.
It was unclear if the calves were stolen, officials said.
The calves were taken to a nearby ranch, where a brand inspector from the California Department of Food and Agriculture will determine if they were stolen.
The Honda had false vehicle registration tags, but it appeared to be registered to home in Tulare County, according to the CHP. The vehicle was impounded and has not been recovered by its owner.
According to the CHP, stealing livestock is a felony in California and could result in fines and a sentence of up to a year in jail.