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The Bexar County Sheriff's Office says one of its deputies followed protocol when trying to get a cow off a Loop 1604 overpass Tuesday night.

The cow jumped from the bridge and plunged more than 30 feet to her death.

Witnesses said the deputy used his patrol car to nudge the cow's hind legs and then turned on his siren. Moments later, the cow jumped over a guardrail.

A Bexar County spokesman said the deputy denied using his car to move the large animal.

Linda Edgmon and several friends were driving from Somerset to San Antonio when they came upon the cow on the Medina River bridge near Pue Road.

The cow was trying to get off the bridge. I think if the officer would have backed up the cow would have walked off the bridge, Edgmon said.

San Antonio police first received a call around 7:30 p.m. but turned the incident over to the Bexar County Sheriff's Office.

The deputy said he tried to get the cow off the bridge for more than 90 minutes but remained in his car in case the cow charged him.

The cow is believed to have wandered off a ranch along the Medina River in far southwest Bexar County.

KENS 5 spoke with a rancher who examined the cow Wednesday morning. He said the cow did not belong to him, but estimated she suffered for 10 to 12 hours before dying from her injuries.

An official with the Texas Department of Transportation said a rendering company or the animal's owner would need to remove the body, which landed about 80 feet north of the Medina River.

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