Fri­day ar­rives home af­ter strand­ing

Central Leader - - WHAT’S ON - IMO­GEN NEALE

A cow washed out to sea and ma­rooned on an un­in­hab­ited is­land has fi­nally made her way home.

Fri­day the cow man­aged to make her way to the de­serted Kara­mu­ramu Is­land, in the Hau­raki Gulf, af­ter be­ing swept away dur­ing the Tas­man Tempest storm which bat­tered the North Is­land in March.

Three men who work at the McCal­lum Bros quarry on the 16-acre is­land got the fright of their lives when they turned

The men said she quickly be­came ‘‘part of the fur­ni­ture’’, wait­ing on the shore for her 7am break­fast of hay.

A week later, she was coaxed on to a barge and fer­ried back to dry land.

Lo­cals ini­tially thought Fri­day must have come from a pad­dock near the Wairoa River in the south­east Auck­land sub­urb of Cleve­don.

At the very least, that would have meant she had swum 6km out to the is­land.

But when Min­istry of Pri­mary In­dus­tries work­ers scanned her ear tag, they dis­cov­ered she had come from a farm in Orere Point – mean­ing she’d ac­tu­ally swum at least 20km.

Her swim took her through farms, past a Top 10 hol­i­day park, down a lit­tle water­fall, un­der a wharf, across the face of Ta­pa­pakanga Re­gional Park and on to Kara­mu­ramu Is­land.

And all with­out a scratch.

Fri­day has since been re­united with her pad­dock mates and owner Kevin O’Con­nor, who was ‘‘amazed’’ to learn the is­land castaway was one of his cows.

O’Con­nor had only owned his 100-acre or­ganic farm in Kawakawa-Orere Rd for two months when the storm hit.

He said fences were ‘‘man­gled’’, gates were torn away, and large swathes of land were washed down the river.

At a nar­row point in the river that snakes around the farm, the wa­ter level rose about six me­tres.

That was near where Fri­day was graz­ing when she was swept away.

He did lose other stock but O’Con­nor said it was hard to do the maths be­cause some were still scat­tered around neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties.

‘‘I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate [Fri­day] now,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s like, never give in, be­cause you just never know when you might wash up on an is­land.’’

SUP­PLIED

Fri­day the cow be­ing trans­ported by barge from Kara­mu­ramu Is­land to east Auck­land.

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