Animal activists are racing against time to save a runaway cow named Yvonne from hunters and police who are aiming to shoot her. The cow has been happily wandering in the woods and along a Bavarian highway evading her captures since May, but her recent antics have put a bounty on her head.
Yvonne is an Austrian cow escaped from a farm where she was being “fattened up for slaughter.” Since then she has outsmarted authorities and an animal rescue group that has tried to round her up.
Yvonne appears to be so intelligent she even taught herself to graze at night, like a deer, so she can’t be easily seen.
According to ABC News International, Yvonne recently made a move that changed how authorities view her free roaming spirit. The cow walked onto the highway and almost caused an accident with a police car.
Law enforcement branded her a threat to drivers and ordered her to be brought in “dead or alive.”
The town assigned two hunters with tranquilizers and guns to track down Yvonne.
Animal activists from the Gut Aiderbichl Animal Sanctuary have been looking for Yvonne since her escape, but have now stepped up their efforts. The rescue group bought the cow for $988 from the town and plans to take her back to their sanctuary in nearby Salzburg; if they can find her.
They are combing the woods in all-terrain vehicles with infrared cameras, but may turn to a tranquilizer gun, if time runs out. According to Fox News they came close to capturing Yvonne, but she quickly “darted back into the bushes.”
If stalking the cow at night doesn’t reel her in, the rescuers may use another approach and appeal to her emotional side.
Hans Wintersteller, manager of the sanctuary told NBC, “His colleagues have purchased Waltraud, a former stall-mate of Yvonne’s, and a calf named Waldi, and hope the cow will see them and be drawn to them by a need for companionship. They also hope to appeal to Yvonne’s maternal instincts.”
Wintersteller’s team also put out a trap with food, hoping to entice Yvonne. He said there are multiple obstacles in capturing her.
“We see her two to three times a day,” Wintersteller said to Deutsche Presse-Agentur. “But this is thick forest with very, very tight spaces. That’s where she’s hidden herself.”
“She’s also got brains. She is clever in all sorts of ways. She is so smart she doesn’t emerge from her hiding place unless she knows the coast is clear.”
We hope Yvonne will able to tell who is trying to help her and who is trying to hurt her, but for now she continues to elude both her rescuers and hunters.
Photo fromfuzzworks via flickr.