'Hero cow' escapes abattoir in Poland by swimming to island – Sky News

A plucky cow that was being taken to an abattoir in Poland managed to escape after swimming to safety on an island.

Keen to keep her life the bovine made a run for it as slaughterhouse workers tried to load her on to a lorry at the farm she was raised on.

Having ignored advice she would need to be tranquilised the workers were then sent running after the escaped animal, Polish news show Wiadomosci reported.

A farmworker suffered broken and bruised ribs after the cow rammed a metal fence during her escape.

She then ran into the nearby Lake Nysa in south Poland close to the border with the Czech Republic and appeared to dive underwater, before swimming over to an island, which has become her new home.

The farmer, known only as Mr Lukasz, tried for a week to get the cow back but has given up and is now caring for her on the island, where he makes sure she has enough food.

He eventually called the fire brigade to help him shift the stubborn cow but when firefighters approached her by boat she swam about 50 metres to a peninsula.

Pawel Gotowski, deputy commander of the Nysa fire brigade, said they could not get closer than 70 metres to the cow because she was so scared.

The farmer said he does not want to put the cow down as he can still make money by selling her.

Her story has captured the nation, with local politician and former singer Pawel Kukiz offering to save the “hero cow” from her death.

He said: “If all citizens could show such determination as this cow then Poland would be a much more prosperous country.

“I am not a vegetarian, but fortitude and the will to fight for this cow’s life is invaluable.

“Therefore, I have decided to do everything to get the cow delivered to a safe place and, as a reward for her attitude, guarantee her a long-term retirement and natural death.”

More from Poland

A local zoo said it would happily take the cow but it unable to do so because European Union rules state zoos can only house “approved” animals.

Most cows are good swimmers, but if they grow tired they do not head for dry land and instead stop swimming and drown.

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