Run­ner warns: Beware of mother cows

Central Leader - - News - By Lisa Sloan

A morn­ing run through the farm at Corn­wall Park has been part of Ted Walker’s rou­tine for al­most 15 years.

But the Green­lane res­i­dent never ex­pected to be at­tacked by a full-grown cow pro­tect­ing her calves.

While run­ning through a pad­dock on July 26, he passed a cow who had re­cently given birth to two calves.

She knocked him to the ground, kick­ing and head­but­ting him.

“I was ab­so­lutely ter­ri­fied and scared wit­less,” he says.

“I thought it was all over. I quite lit­er­ally thought she was go­ing to kill me.”

Mr Walker has al­ways com­pleted his run on a pub­lic path that runs through the pad­docks at Corn­wall Park.

He says many peo­ple of all ages use the same path each day.

Left with a bro­ken arm and bruises all over his body, Mr Walker wants to warn oth­ers about the dan­gers of get­ting too close to cows in the park.

The area has signs up to cau­tion vis­i­tors to stay away from cows dur­ing the calv­ing sea­son, so Mr Walker has al­ways kept his dis­tance.

But on the morn­ing of the at­tack, the cow was in the mid­dle of the path and Mr Walker didn’t see the calves be­hind her.

By the time he re­alised and swerved away, she had knocked him to the ground and was kick­ing and head­but­ting him.

“I was try­ing to get up but I couldn’t and then I saw my arm break as the hoof went through,” he says.

“There was no one around and I was call­ing out, but I don’t think any­one could have done any­thing any­way.”

The cow stopped at­tack­ing when her calves walked away and Mr Walker was able to make it back home, where his wife took him to hospi­tal.

He says other peo­ple might not have been as lucky.

“If it had been a child or an el­derly per­son they wouldn’t have stood a chance. I think gen­er­ally it is safe but there are times when a cow can be­come on edge and that’s when it’s dan­ger­ous.”

Corn­wall Park man­ager Peter Maxwell says the cow that at­tacked Mr Walker had given birth to twins two days be­fore the at­tack and was still in a frag­ile con­di­tion.

He says cows be­come very pro­tec­tive of their calves and do not like peo­ple to get near or touch them.

He says there are signs warn­ing peo­ple not to go near the cows dur­ing the calv­ing sea­son be­tween July and Novem­ber and staff try to keep an eye out.

“But this is an un­for­tu­nate in­ci­dent and we are very sorry he has been in­jured,” he says.

“It’s very an­noy­ing but it’s part of the na­ture of the cows to pro­tect their calves.”

Mr Maxwell ad­vises peo­ple visit­ing Corn­wall Park to keep well clear of the cows and never step be­tween a cow and her calves.

They should also never touch the lambs be­cause sheep will aban­don lambs which have an­other scent on them, leav­ing them to die.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Cow ter­ror: Ted Walker was at­tacked by a cow de­fend­ing her calves while on a run at Corn­wall Park.

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