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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Yvonne, Germany's runaway cow, is safe and happy

After three months "on the run" Yvonne - Germany's "fugitive" cow - is safe and happily reunited with her son and sister and enjoying a new life at an animal sanctuary in southern Germany.

Yvonne, Germany's runaway cow (screenshot from Guardian website)

Yvonne's story is one that has captured the imagination of both the German and international media over the past couple of months ever since she, in the words of NPR, "Darted to freedom just as she was about to be sent to the slaughterhouse."

After 98 days on the run, she has finally been captured.

Actually, to be absolutely precise and, in spite of all the attempts German authorities have made to find her, Yvonne "gave herself up" when she wandered into the meadow of a farmer last week.

Yes, a silly summer story with a happy ending.

Yvonne, a six-year-old dairy cow, first hit the headlines back in May when broke through an electric fence of a farm in the village of Zangberg, 80 kilometres northeast of Munich.

She had been due to be sent for slaughter.

Her exact whereabouts remained a mystery for the next three months although she was believed to be "in hiding" somewhere in a nearby forest.

At one point she was spotted crossing a road, almost colliding with a police car, which led to the local authority giving hunters the go-ahead to shoot on sight because she was reportedly a potential threat to traffic.

It was an order they later overturned after animal rights groups protested and the national daily tabloid Bild Zeitung took up her cause.

The paper offered a €10,000 reward for anyone who could find her, and kept the story alive with regular updates.

The Gut Aiderbichl animal sanctuary also stepped in, stumping up €700 to buy Yvonne from her former owners and taking the lead in the search to find her; and it resorted to some extraordinary measures.

They included enlisting the help of her sister Waltraut, who had also made a dash for freedom when Yvonne disappeared but had later returned, to lure her out of hiding.

And the services of Ernst, the so-called "George Clooney of bulls" to woo her home with his "deep baritone moo".

Ernst the bull (screenshot from ZDF news report)

They also called upon the "skills" of an animal communications expert from Switzerland, Franziska Matti, to tempt Yvonne to return.

But as Matti said after she had "spoken" to the cow (telepathically of course) "Yvonne was not ready to come out of hiding" and even though "she knew that Ernst had been waiting for her she was scared and thought that humans would lock her up and she would no longer be free."


Yvonne remained elusive - until last week that is when she wandered on to a meadow of farmer Karl Gutmann to join the rest of his grazing herd.

He informed the Gut Aiderbichl animal sanctuary who confirmed it was Yvonne by her ear tag.

Gutmann claimed his reward and Yvonne headed off to spend the rest of her days with her son Friesi and her sister at the animal sanctuary in the southern Bavarian town of Deggendorf.

But, even though Gut Aiderbichl says on its website that she has arrived safe and sound and is settling in, it wasn't exactly been an easy job loading her on to the transporter.

True to her reputation apparently, she struggled and even pushed over the vet who was trying to tranquilise her.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Failed to see the French angle to the story but very amusing and well told, kept me on the edge of my seat!

By the way, I wonder whether George Clooney (the real one) wears a piercing such as Ernst the bull in some hidden part of his body... ha ha ha

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