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HomeNew ZealandVideo shows cows responding to farmer's plea to swim for their lives

Video shows cows responding to farmer’s plea to swim for their lives

Cows swim to safety in Hawke's Bay

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The cows swam together in the direction of owner Kylie McIntyre who was guiding them from the riverbank.
Photo: Vet Services Waipukurau

“Come on girls, come here,” Kylie McIntyre urgently calls. In the foreground a herd of 23 cows, their heads bobbing back and forward, fight against the current, focused on her voice.

The video of the herd swimming around 500m to safety in central Hawke’s Bay on Tuesday during the devastation of Cyclone Gabrielle has struck a chord.

Vet Services Waipukurau posted the video to Facebook yesterday, where it has been viewed nearly 50,000 times.

Vet Anne Gelling said the response to the cows’ answer to Kylie’s call had been “amazing”.

“She loves her cows and they love her.”

Gelling said the cows had earlier been shifted to ground well above the level of flooding caused by Cyclone Bola in 1988, but when McIntyre went to check on them they were in water up to their necks.

“They were floating toward the Waipawa River … you can hear the panic in her [McIntyre’s] voice.”

Gelling said McIntyre was “still shaking to be fair” but the cows were on the mend.

“We were there again yesterday to check on their health. Five are on an intensive treatment programme because of signs of pneumonia … it’s rest and relaxation for them all now.

“They’re in a place with food and are not moving a foot anyway.”

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