Saturday, June 11, 2011

Yvonne, the Runaway Cow, Given Reprieve

Yvonne the cow has been found after three months on the run. Photo courtesy: Josef Enzinger/AFP/Getty Images

When Yvonne the cow managed to escape while being taken to the slaughter house, my heart screamed, "Run, little one, run." I also admit to rooting for Yvonne in her efforts to remain free. However, Yvonne has finally been caught; but, there is a happy ending.

The Gut Aiderbichl animal sanctuary, which now owns the errant bovine, said a farmer had called to say Yvonne had wandered on to her land.

In a statement on its website, the sanctuary said one of its staff was able to confirm Yvonne's identity by a tag on her ear.

Having been fattened up for slaughter, the six-year-old brown dairy cow escaped from her field in the village of Zangberg, 50 miles north-east of Munich, on 24 May. She managed to breach the electric fence surrounding her farm before seeking sanctuary in nearby forests. She led a quiet life grazing among the fir trees until she was nearly involved in a collision with a passing police car.

Following her escape the cow became, in the words of one newspaper, "a kind of freedom fighter for the animal loving German republic". As word of her escapades spread, animal protection activists got involved, incensed that local hunters had been given permission to shoot Yvonne on sight. Gut Aiderbichl, an animal sanctuary over the Austrian border in Salzburg, agreed to buy Yvonne from the farm for €600 ($857.10 USD).

Her whereabouts became a national obsession in Germany, with one tabloid offering a reward of €10,000 ($14285.00) for her safe return.

Her story has spread across the world. in South Africa a psychic claimed to have communicated with her. While an animal whisperer from Switzerland failed to coax her back from the Bavarian forest using telepathy.

Yvonne can now look forward to spending the rest of her days in a paddock with grass to graze on.

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