Suffolk cow swims for 24 hours before rescue

A Suffolk cow was rescued with lassos and canoes 24 hours after being stranded in a river.

The heifer got stuck at Bakers Court, Great Cornard water on Wednesday night but “slipped into the night” away from the Suffolk fire and rescue services.

Hunter Gary Thorpe was also on hand to slaughter the cow if the animal became dangerous or seriously injured.

He said: “Unfortunately the cow managed to escape last night in the dark and even with all the equipment available we couldn’t find her and the search was called off around 12:30 am.”

The cow was then found on the river Thursday morning at 9:30 a.m.


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Mr Thorpe recalls: “The plan was to put a rope around her neck and try to get her back to the opposite bank, so the firefighters set up barricades of canoes and their own canoe to keep her from going. go down the river.

“So on the third attempt I was successful in lassoing the cow and after a few moments I was able to get her into the river and on the opposite bank with a strong pull from the Suffolk fire crews.

“Once on the opposite bank, we tied her to one of the vehicles and let her calm down until we put the cattle trailer in place. caravan where, after half an hour of gentle persuasion, she was in the caravan and on the way home.

“I hope she will stay out of the river now after her sleepless night.

“The Suffolk firefighters went out of their way to ensure a happy ending.”

The cow is now back with her owner in Grand Cornard.


The returning cow with her owner in Great Cornard, Suffolk
– Credit: Heidi Holden

A spokesperson for the fire department said: “A rescue and release plan was devised in consultation with the animal’s owner, which involved forcing the cow back into the water for help. a line and barrier of canoes from a local club to guide the animal to land.

“He was safely rescued on dry land in the hands of his owner, where he was allowed to calm down before being moved into a trailer awaiting transport to his herd.”

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