Cow headed for slaughter makes escape

Living in Surrey Bend regional park for nine months, cow wins its freedom.

This cow has won her freedom after escaping nine months ago.

This cow has won her freedom after escaping nine months ago.



Heading for the slaughterhouse earlier this year, a Black Angus cow made a break for it, and after harrowing chases on the highway and months in the wild, fending off coyotes and dogs, she has won her freedom.

The Leader reported last March the first sighting of the 300-pound bovine as it led police from both Langley and Surrey on a slow speed chase down the TransCanada Highway.  Ambling westbound down the highway, the cow crossed the busy thoroughfare and managed to avoid oncoming traffic.

Mounties managed to contain the cow, but in a last ditch effort, it bound into the Surrey Bend, in the northeast corner of the city.

Animal rescue was called but gave up the search because of the rough terrain in the park.

The cow has been living there for the last nine months, and has frequently been the target of attacks by coyotes and local dogs.

Nicknamed Nellie by some and April by others, she managed to live through the warmer season by living on grasses in the bog. When winter came, locals brought her food so she wouldn’t starve to death.

Vancouver-based ecology organization Lifeforce was told about her plight on Dec. 11, this year.

Lifeforce member Peter Hamilton said Thursday he spoke with people who saw the cow chased into the Fraser River by dogs in the park. And because the area is often used by people partying, it was probably subject to human harassment.

Coyotes in the area would most certainly have had a run at the animal, he said.

On Dec. 21, she was on her way to a sanctuary in Summerland. She’s been renamed “Lady Antebellum.”

Her eartag number was given to Agriculture Canada, but the agency was unable to find the owner.

If someone tries to claim her, the animal rights group hopes the rescue costs will be more than what they’d get at auction.

The group has shipped her to a sanctuary in the Okanagan, where it’s hoped she will remain.

@diakiw

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