Cow Who Escaped and Swam to Island Won’t Be Slaughtered

Last month a very determined Limousin cow in southern Poland did something pretty remarkable to avoid the slaughterhouse. As the cow was being led from her farm to the truck, her owner — identified by news sources only as Mr. Lukasz — warned the handlers to tranquilize her. But before they could, she broke free.

The cow rammed right through a metal fence. When someone tried to stop her, she broke his arm and ribs, according to the Polish news site Wiadomosci. The cow ran to the shore of Lake Nyskie, and she didn’t stop there. She literally dove underwater, Lukasz said, and swam to one of the islands in the middle of the lake.

Over the next two days, Lukasz and his workers made attempts to remove the cow from the island, but each time she attacked them. A team of firefighters also tried to capture the cow, but she ran away from them and swam about 165 feet to a peninsula.

Lukasz, who has been regularly bringing food to the island, initially wanted his cow tranquilized and removed so he could sell her, but he’s since had a change of heart. Local politicians support the idea of taking what they’re calling the “hero cow” to a sanctuary. One of them, former singer Pawel Kukiz, has offered to pay the transportation expenses.

“She escaped heroically and infiltrated the island in the middle of the lake, where it remains today,” Kukiz said. “I decided to do everything to cause the cow to be delivered to a safe place and in the second stage, as a reward for her attitude, give her a guarantee of a long-term retirement and natural death.”

Nearly a month after the cow escaped to the island, Czeslaw Bilobran, the mayor of Nysa, promised on a radio show that her life would be spared. “We have a bee mascot, we can have a cow,” he said. ““The cow gives milk, you need to protect it. She ran away from death, fought for herself.”

As strange as this story may seem, last fall another Limousin cow escaped from a different farm in Poland, and has since been living with a herd of wild bison in the Bialowieza Forest.

Biologist Rafal Kowalczyk said it’s the first time he’s seen a cow join a group of wild bison. Although the cow isn’t very integrated with the herd, Kowalczyk said the bison don’t seem to mind her, and they’ve probably even protected her from wolves.

The problem is that if the renegade cow breeds with a member of her new herd, Kowalczyk said it could contaminate the vulnerable Bialowieza bisons’ gene pool. Not only that, but giving birth to a large hybrid calf could kill the cow.

Naturalists thought the cow would wander back home as temperatures dropped in the winter, BBC News reports, but so far that hasn’t happened. If she isn’t back by spring, she will likely be captured and returned to the farm — where she should be allowed to live out the rest of what’s already been a pretty exciting life.

Hopefully the amazing tales of these two smart and determined cows will serve as food for thought for anyone considering eating a steak or hamburger from an animal that wasn’t nearly so lucky.

Photo Credit: Shannon McGee/Flickr


Marie W
Marie W7 months ago

tks for sharing

Claire Jeffrey
Claire Jeffrey11 months ago


Mark Donner
Mark Donnerabout a year ago

Marianne C: Nice long story, but to sum it up, your father is a murdering monster.

Mark Donner
Mark Donnerabout a year ago

I wish Hitler could be brought back for one purpose, to exterminate all the hunters, poachers, trappers, meat marketers and slaughterers, animal abusers and abusers. Those monsters calling themselves human are a cancer on life.

joan silaco
joan silacoabout a year ago


Eileen W
Eileen Wildabout a year ago

Fantastic story, what a clever cow!

Brian F
Brian Fabout a year ago

This is why we need to close down all our horrible factory farms, and CAFO's. The horrible cruelty these animals experience is unacceptable. In addition, we hear everyday about the horrible diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes that people who eat meat are getting.

Darlene Buckingham
Darlene Buckinghamabout a year ago

What a wonderful story!

john casablanca
john casablancaabout a year ago

Even animals can sense when they are in harms way and then their instrincts take over
and they do what they can to survive.
John C./Houston, Tx.

rudicael riot
rudicael émeuteabout a year ago

A quand la fête des mère pour les vaches.