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Friday, September 2, 2011

The game's up: Yvonne the runaway cow finally caught after 98 days on the run from abattoir

By Allan Hall and Katy Winter

Moo-dy: Yvonne is caught and pulled by a tractor at a grazing land near Stefanskirchen, Germany

Dubbed the Scarlet Pimpernel of the bovine world, Yvonne the cow managed to escape from her farm moments before she was due for a trip to the abattoir.

She longed for bovine contact after 98 days on the hoof where she became nocturnal after taking up with a herd of deer.

The loneliness brought Yvonne back from the wild and into the clutches of man.

Konrad Gutmann, 46, claimed the £9,500 reward offered up by a German newspaper for Yvonne's capture when she wandered into his meadows to try to befriend his cows.

Yvonne had previously evaded all attempts at capture after she broke out of a farmyard in Zangberg, Germany on May 24th shortly before she was due to be slaughtered.

Farmer Konrad said; 'It was just luck really. I was out taking a tour of my electric fence with my daughter Melanie at about 6.00pm when I saw Yvonne on the other side staring at the young cows. She seemed lonely.'

'She went back into the woods when she saw us. I got up behind her and my daughter gathered the cows in one area of the field.' Eventually he managed to herd Yvonne into the field.

'But she was very nervous,' he added. 'You could see the stress of the past days and weeks had taken its toll on her.'

Officials from the Gut Aiderbichl animal sanctuary, which purchased Yvonne when she was on the run to offer her a happy life free from the threat of being turned into beefburgers, identified her from the number pinned into her ear.

In the early days of her great escape local authorities near Mühldorf in Bavaria gave hunters the right to shoot her because she posed a danger to traffic on nearby busy roads. That order was rescinded after pressure from animal rights protesters.

An udder chance: Runaway cow Yvonne is loaded onto a truck following two anesthesia shots

After she joined the other cows she began to munch contentedly on animal feed and grass.

She was tranquilised on Friday morning and transported to the Gut Aiderbichl sanctuary at Deggendorf where she will spend her days with her sister Waltraud and her son Frieslt.

Flashback: Yvonne grazing before her escape in the farm in Zangberg near Muehldorf, Germany



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