Bonnie, the cow, was just 4-month-old when decided to take fate into her own hooves. Born on a cow farm in upstate New York, the baby cow became a living legend among the locals. It all started a couple of years ago, when she was just a little calf.
Unfortunately, the farm’s owner passed away, so all the cows there, were about to be sold to a slaughterhouse. But when the herd was being loaded onto the trucks, the little Bonnie run away and disappeared in the forest. For a few days people have searched for her, but unsuccessfully. The winter came and everyone thought she was gone for good.
“Venturing out of the safety of the forest only for occasional sightings, Bonnie quickly became a local celebrity, dividing the Holland community into two groups: those who were ‘Team Bonnie’ and those who were determined to [catch her],” Meredith Turner-Smith at the Farm Sanctuary, told The Dodo. “Both groups searched for her in the woods — which stayed buried under 3 feet of snow all winter — but aside from quick glimpses, the ‘babe in the woods’ remained hidden.”
Surprisingly, the mystery remained as months after Bonnie escaped, some wildlife cameras captured a young cow hanging through woods around Holland, New York. Turned out the fugitive cow got adopted by a family of wild deer who raised her as one of their own.
“Since she had lost her first family, they [the deer] helped Bonnie survive and accepted her as their own — eating, sleeping and running together!” Turner-Smith said.
However, volunteers at the Farm Sanctuary knew it would be nearly impossible for a domesticated animal to survive in the woods during the harsh winter. But since Bonnie looked like she found the love and comfort she was looking for, they only decided to help out.
“A kind neighbor knew the woods were no place for a cow, and helped her survive the winter by trekking through the snow each day, bringing food, water and fresh bedding to her on a sled,” Turner-Smith said. “And after slowly winning Bonnie’s trust, she called Farm Sanctuary for help.”
Finally, after a couple of failed attempts, the staff at the sanctuary brought Bonnie at the center to properly take care of her. “Bonnie beat the odds,” Turner-Smith said. “Here, our resilient new friend will spend her life in peace, surrounded by caring humans and a loving herd of her fellow rescued cattle.”