Runaway cow gains freedom to roam

Aug. 29, 2011 at 7:05 PM
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ZANGBERG, Germany, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Yvonne, the runaway German cow who fled her farm and narrowly escaped slaughter, has gained her freedom to run wild, officials say.

The district authority of Muhldorf am Inn in Upper Bavaria says it has revoked a permit to shoot Yvonne, who eluded pursuers for three months, gaining international fame.

After the bovine nearly collided with a police car while fleeing, authorities had given permission for her to be killed, but now hunters are forbidden to take aim at her, Der Spiegel reports.

"As the animal no longer constitutes an acute threat to road traffic in its current location, no major search or capture operations are necessary," the authority said in a statement. "The Muhldorf district office requests that the animal not be disturbed in its current habitat."

The authority had temporarily suspended a permit to shoot Yvonne so wildlife activists could try to find her, tranquilize her and take her to an animal sanctuary.

Yvonne barreled through an electric fence of a farm in Aschau and is now believed to be in the Bavarian forest.

She's become quite popular, with 27,000 friends on a Yvonne Facebook page. The German newspaper Bild offered $14,500 for her safe capture and return and Hindus, who view cows as sacred, sought her protection.

The wildlife charity Gut Aiderbichl, which bought Yvonne from the farm owner for $867, used a helicopter to search for her and even tried attracting her with a bull named Ernst.

"Yvonne has truly fought for her freedom," the charity said. "She has shown the world that her urge to be free is strong -- even for a cow."

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