Tuesday, 16. September 2014
04. 06. 14. - 16:00
They look udderly ridiculous, but an airlift was the only way to get these cows to safety after they became trapped in a river.
The silly cows, eight in all, left the safety of their meadow in the Canton of Graubunden in eastern Switzerland to head for the local river.
It quickly turned into a drama when they decided to go to the other side of the river where the grass was of course greener. But halfway across they became marooned on a sandbank in the river that began flowing much faster after a downpour.
The rescuers put the foolishness down to the fact all the animals were young.
In the end they had to be helicoptered into the air and lowered onto the bank where they had come from. The animals were calmed down with tranquillisers to stop them struggling in the hoist, then hooked up to winches and airlifted to safety.
They were then taken back to their field where they were given a check up by a vet before being released. The verdict, cold but otherwise unhurt.
The rescue took five hours, involved two helicopters, four vets, three farmers, and two patrols as well as two police divers.
"It cost a small fortune and far more than they were worth, but we couldn't let them simply be swept away," said a police spokesman. "No-one can bear to see animals in distress, even if it was their own fault that they got into trouble in the first place. After all, they didn't know any better."
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