Sci-Tech

Yvonne, the runaway cow, not moo-ning for home

By Theresa Mallinson 22 August 2011

Bovine fugitive Yvonne has been on the run in Bavaria since late in May. In the meantime, she's become a media sensation, with a €10,000 reward offered for her capture. By THERESA MALLINSON.

On 24 May a dairy cow called Yvonne escaped from her farm in the village of Zangberg, not far from Munich. An electric fence wasn’t enough to deter Yvonne from her bid for freedom – and she had every reason to flee, as she was due to be sent to the slaughterhouse.

Since then, Yvonne has been hanging out in the pine forests of Bavaria. After she wandered on to a highway, and collided with a police car, the cow was declared a public menace, and hunters now have permission to shoot her on sight. However, since Bild newspaper offered a €10,000 reward for Yvonne’s capture, a savvier moove (sorry) would be to dart her with an animal tranquiliser.

Capturing Yvonne is far from an easy task though, as her three months on the, er, lam testify. According to The Independent: “So far she has outwitted Bavarians armed with telescopic sights, a helicopter equipped with thermal-imaging gear, an animal tracker whose skills were honed on the African savannah and the searching eyes of police, ramblers and fortune-seekers…”

In an attempt to spare her from the hunters, an animal sanctuary in Salzberg called Gut Aiderbichl has bought Yvonne for €600. So, when the cow is finally caught, she’ll be able to see out her days peacefully grazing in a paddock.

Meanwhile, Yvonne has become a media darling. A band called Gnadenkapelle has even written a song about her, with the lyrics: “Why don’t you leave Yvonne alone, she’s only a runaway cow… You wild cow, don’t let them take your freedom.” Yvonne is certainly doing her best to live by that last line – besides she has udder options now. DM



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