'Like a Spanish Toro': Famous Fugitive Cow Yvonne Captured After Spirited Fight


Yvonne the fugitive cow has been captured, but not without a fight. It took two tranquilizer shots and some serious wrangling to get the feisty cow into a transport vehicle.

"She acted very aggressively," veterinarian and former director of Munich's Hellabrunn Zoo, Henning Wiesner, told news agency DAPD. A normal cow would have been easily led away after just one shot, he explained.

"She has the qualities of a Spanish Toro," he added.

After the tranquilizers, Yvonne made a scene by charging a tractor, which was followed by some additional pushing and shoving from her captors. She was ultimately wrangled into an animal transporter and taken to the Gut Aiderbichl animal rescue farm in Deggendorf, where she will likely live out the rest of her days.

Initially billed for slaughter, six-year-old Yvonne broke free from an Aschau farm on May 24 and retreated to the woods in the Upper Bavarian district of Mühldorf am Inn. The district authority soon declared the cow to be a traffic danger, authorizing officials to shoot her. However, concerned animal activists stepped in to try and save Yvonne, purchasing her from her owner and joining the search to find her.

Bound, But Not Broken During their quest to capture Yvonne the Gut Aiderbichl rescuers unsuccessfully tried using helicopters with heat-seeking cameras, her sister Waltraud and even a handsome ox named Ernst to lure her from the woods. With each failed attempt Yvonne gained popularity during the slow news cycle of the summer months, even earning herself a few Facebook fan pages. Adding to her allure, those who spotted Yvonne reported that her months on the lam had transformed her from an ordinary dairy cow to a shaggy, buffalo-like woodland beast.

The wily bovine outsmarted her pursuers so many times that last week district officials gave up, suspending the permit to shoot her and asking that the animal "not be disturbed in its current habitat," though Gut Aiderbichl rescuers still hoped to find her before the cold winter months set in.

Her freedom was short-lived. On Tuesday Yvonne was spotted in a meadow near Stefanskirchen where a number of calves were being kept. The farmer, whose find won him a €10,000 ($14,500) reward put up by tabloid daily Bild, informed Gut Aiderbichl on Thursday. By the time everyone arrived it was too dark to proceed, but Yvonne was captured -- with some hefty resistance -- around dawn on Friday morning.

"I'm happy it went so well," head of the Gut Aiderbichl rescue farm search team, Hans Wintersteller, told German news agency DAPD on the way to Yvonne's new home in Deggendorf.

There she will be greeted by her sister Waltraud and son Friesi, also purchased by the rescue farm, which is home to horses, dogs, chimpanzees and other cattle.

"The whole family is waiting for her," Wintersteller said.

kla -- with wires

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