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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Peek-a-moo: Yvonne the runaway cow taunts pursuers three months after escaping the slaughterhouse

-Elusive animal pops up on CCTV in a corn field

By Daniel Miller

Hide that hide: Yvonne pops her head out of a corn field near Zangberg, Germany, having been on the run for 92 days

They seek her here, they seek here there, but those Bavarians still can't track down Yvonne the elusive cow and now she's popping up to taunt them on camera.

The fugitive, dubbed the Scarlet Pimpernel of the bovine world, escaped from her farm in Zangberg, Germany, moments before she was due for a trip to the abattoir.

Having successfully evaded capture for 92 days, Yvonne has now been spotted on a CCTV camera happily chewing the cud in a field of maize.

Catch me if you can: Yvonne appears to taunt her pursuers relaxing in the corner of a field near the town of Mühldorf in Bavaria, Germany

A full-scale cow hunt has been underway for months under the name Operation Yvonne but every time the net closes in she somehow manages to give her pursuers the slip.

A recent attempt to lure her out of the Bavarian forest where she is hiding failed because the bull, with which they were trying to woo her - described by its owner as the George Clooney of the bull world - turned out to have been castrated.

The team then tried tethering her sister, Waltraut, to a tree in the hope that a friendly face would bring her out of hiding but that too proved unsuccessful.

She was spotted last weekend when when she was in a near miss with a police car after which an order was issued to hunters to shoot her on sight.

But this infuriated Germany's animal lovers who offered to buy her from the farmer and the shoot-on-sight order has been rescinded until Monday.

German tabloid newspaper, the Bild, has put up a €10,000 reward for the safe return and they claimed an 11-year-old schoolboy had found a fresh hoofprint in woods near his home.

Hans Wintersteller, the owner of a local animal sanctuary and co-ordinator of Operation Yvonne, told the Times: 'We know roughly where she is.

'But she always seems to keep on step ahead of us.'

Experts now believe that when she first escaped she was taken in by a herd of deer who taught her how to evade capture by foraging at night and lying low during the day.

One of the more desperate attempts to get hold of Yvonne was to try using an animal psychic to contact her and tell her to come home.

Most wanted: Animal lovers were upset when an order was given to shoot Yvonne on sight so they offered to buy her from the farmer

Sisterly love: Not even Yvonne's sister, Waltraut (pictured), has been able to lure her home

Before she escaped she was fattened up and ready to be taken to the slaughterhouse where she would have been made into sausage meat.

It is estimated that she would have shed around 200lb in weight since breaking free.

Members of the sanctuary have now embarked on a mission to find another bull to tempt Yvonne from her woodland hideaway.

As those who want to save her and those who want to eat her race to find the cow, her fame continues to grow and one newspaper described her as a 'freedom fighter'.

A helicopter has been leased to track her down and the next step is to take her two-year-old son, Friesi.

The cow has been on the run since escaping and evading slaughter on May 24



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