The amazing world of animals never ceases to amaze with its diversity and unexpected stories. Driven by the instinct of self-preservation and the desire for freedom, individuals of an ordinary farmyard are capable of such “feats” that a person cannot fit into his head. The incredible story of little Bonnie began in the small town of Holland, in the state of New York, USA. Up to 4 months, the chick lived quietly among other animals on Holland’s farm.
When the owner died, the “end of the world” began. Every day new people came and took away the animals, which were simply sold out. Some were taken to other farms, but many ended up in the slaughterhouse. Without waiting for her wheel of fate to turn, the little cow decided to go on the run. Taking advantage of the commotion at the next arrival of buyers, she rushed towards the nearest forest. At the time of her escape, no one noticed her. So they forgot about her.
After 8 months, a young cow began to be noticed in the forest. She flashed among the trees, sometimes went to the edge. The cow did not make any attempts to approach people, but ran away when they approached. Locals wondered how a farm animal manages to survive in the forest, which is not accustomed to independently forage in the wild? Everything was explained by the camera traps “scattered” in the woods around the neighborhood. It turned out that the baby was not alone.
She somehow managed to get attached to a herd of deer, who actually took her for their own. It was they who taught the young cow to get grass in the forest and avoid dangers. The time was approaching autumn, then winter came. The anxiety of the locals increased. Coyotes are rampant in the forest in winter, and if the grass goes deep under the snow, the cow will not be able to get it. If it’s cold, she’ll just freeze. An additional reason for the worries were the attempts of visiting hunters to catch an animal for meat.
The same was threatened by farmers who lived in the district a little further away. Fortunately, the cow didn’t trust anyone. Or rather, almost no one. There was a kind soul sympathizing with the animal not only in words, but also in deeds. The owner of the plot where Bonnie was most often seen is Becky Bartels. Every morning, by 6.30 am, she brought hay to the forest and arranged it on a feeder standing next to her plot. She called her red-haired favorite “cow-deer”.
It was she who called the organization for the protection of farm animals – Farm Sanctuary. Representatives twice came with a van in an attempt to take the cow to the shelter farm, but they did not succeed. It was only with Becky’s help that they managed to lure the animal into the van. A cow in a sleepy state survived a trip at a distance of 177 km, to Watkins Glen. There, 110 hectares of freedom were waiting for her, warm flocks arranged for animals, enough food and fresh water.
At the time of Bonnie’s arrival , they already lived here: a rescued goat, a chicken without wings, three other cows and a six-month-old calf, Alexander. Bonnie especially became friends with the latter. Farm Sanctuary Director Susie Coston was amazed to learn the story of the little red cow. “This is a one in a million case,” the woman said, “when a herbivore from a farm survives in the wild. Where there is cold and predators.”
Coston also expressed confidence that Becky Bartels played a big role in saving Bonnie. Thanks to her kindness, the cow received additional food and, eventually, was taken away to a warm, safe and satisfying place. A pet, even the bravest and adapted to live in unexpected conditions, always depends on a person. In most situations, not only a comfortable existence will depend on this, but also the life of the pet itself.