KANAIO - Skywalker, the champion rodeo bull, has a problem. He got his head stuck in a discarded truck tire.
His owner, Paige De Ponte, also has a problem. She doesn't know how to get him out.
On Tuesday afternoon, she and her son were trying to figure out how to deal with the touchy bull, who is a breeder at De Ponte's Triple L Ranch.
Skywalker won’t let anyone ride him at the rodeo, but now he quietly waits for human help after sticking his head in an abandoned tire on Triple L Ranch in Kanaio.
PAIGE DE PONTE photo
"People seem to think that Kanaio is a dumping ground," said De Ponte, who was attending a Maui Planning Commission meeting Tuesday morning but was hurrying home to deal with the problem.
"He is really uncomfortable," she said.
De Ponte said the county recently cleaned up the public rights-of-way and "did a pretty good job," except for old tires.
She has been trying to deal with those, too. She doesn't know how Skywalker found the big tire. "I am not sure where it came from."
De Ponte said Skywalker acquired the tire sometime overnight. The ranch's 18 bulls and 130 cows roam the range free, the dream of her late husband, Bully De Ponte, who wanted to raise free-range, purebred Angus cattle.
Skywalker, who has never been successfully ridden at Maui rodeos, is a purebred Angus, despite being white rather than black.
De Ponte said Skywalker was in a lot of pain but would allow people he knows to approach him. Besides, with the heavy tire weighting him down, he cannot move much.
She said she was considering asking the Maui Fire Department for help.
The cattle return to the corral twice a day for water, and that was when Skywalker's predicament was discovered.
* Harry Eagar can be reached at email@example.com.