When Bonnie the cow escaped the clutches of farmers who were about to take her to slaughter, she disappeared into some nearby woods. And for months, nothing was known about the brave bovine; she’d seemingly vanished off the face of the Earth. Then, however, cameras would manage to capture some unbelievable scenes.
Bonnie was brought into the world on a farm in Holland, New York. And for the first few months of her life, the calf grew up among her friends and family. That seemingly idyllic life would not last, though, as ultimately Bonnie and her fellow cattle were being raised for beef.
Then, after the farm’s owner died, his family chose to sell the cows. As a result, when Bonnie was only four months old, she found herself on the way to slaughter. And while the calf was still young and dependent on her mother, she may nevertheless have had a gut feeling that something terrible awaited her.
Perhaps the cries of her loved ones as they were loaded onto a trailer had tipped Bonnie off; maybe it was the ways in which the cows had fought back as they were being taken away from their pastures. Regardless, Bonnie seemingly decided at that moment that she would make a run for it. And while the farmers were distracted filling the truck, she duly fled into some local woods.
But that wasn’t the end of Bonnie’s story. Word of the calf’s lucky escape soon spread through the community; and before long, her story began to capture their imaginations. People would even enter the woods in the hope of catching a glimpse of Bonnie, but she always somehow eluded capture.
However, even if Bonnie had managed to dodge people, she couldn’t hide from technology. A few months after the cow had fled slaughter, hunters began picking her up on their cameras. And soon they were able to piece together the unbelievable life that Bonnie had created for herself.
While a once-captive cow may have been expected to struggle to find food, Bonnie wasn’t only surviving – she was thriving. And she wasn’t living a solitary existence, either. In fact, she had found herself a surrogate family in the woods.
It seemed, you see, that some deer had taken Bonnie in as one of the family. And as far as anyone could tell, the calf had blended seamlessly into the group, with the unusual herd sleeping, eating and playing together. One of the deer’s typical behaviors had even apparently rubbed off on Bonnie.
Deer are known to be evasive characters, after all. And Bonnie had seemingly picked up this skill herself, as she would vanish into the nearby forest whenever she saw humans. Catching the fearful animal would prove to be a difficult task, then.
Meanwhile, before the winter set in and Bonnie’s chances of survival diminished, a kindly neighbor and animal-lover called Becky decided to reach out to the fugitive cow. But given that she had seen other humans taking her family away, Bonnie likely wasn’t going to be easy to win over.
So, in order to win Bonnie’s trust, Becky would have to put time and effort into her cause. And she certainly did that; the good Samaritan battled through snow each day on her trusty sled to hand-deliver fresh bedding and food to Bonnie.
Eventually, Bonnie even began warming to Becky. And after some property owners warned that they would slaughter the cow for venturing onto their land, the kind stranger made a plan to rescue the animal from the woods. To do so, however, she reached out to Farm Sanctuary.
Farm Sanctuary is based in Watkins Glen, NY, and the animal-protection organization provides refuge for more than 800 farmyard creatures – including cows – across a 175-acre site. It seemed, then, that the shelter would make the ideal forever home for Bonnie.
What’s more, when the folks at Farm Sanctuary heard about Bonnie’s inspirational story, they were eager to help; as a result, they decided to accompany Becky on her breakfast run to Bonnie early one morning. However, Bonnie’s fear of other humans meant that she stayed well away from the Farm Sanctuary employees – she only trusted Becky.
In the end, then, it took three attempts to capture Bonnie. The cow was eventually secured after a rescue team created a pen around her eating area and caught her there. As the Farm Sanctuary workers closed in on Bonnie, though, Becky was at hand to comfort her.
After that, the team were able to successfully sedate Bonnie in the makeshift eating pen and transport her to Farm Sanctuary. And after almost a year on the run, Bonnie was finally out of the woods – quite literally.
Later, a statement on the Farm Sanctuary website read, “Bonnie’s journey home was a true community effort. We couldn’t have done it without Becky; the Holland community, who looked out for Bonnie; and our dedicated staff members, who stopped at nothing to help our new friend come home.”
Then, after Bonnie’s unusual story had hit the headlines, Farm Sanctuary took to Facebook with a video update on the cow. In the footage, she can be seen merrily running around a meadow with two smaller calves. And judging by the clip, the once-elusive animal now seemed very happy indeed.
In an accompanying caption to the video, Farm Sanctuary wrote, “As you can see, Bonnie – the cow raised by deer – is adjusting beautifully to #FarmSanctuaryLife, spending the long summer days playing in the grass with her new friends!”
And Bonnie’s newfound fans online welcomed the good news. “It makes me so happy to see them jumping around as they should be doing,” one supporter wrote, speaking of Bonnie and her new friends. Frankly, we couldn’t agree more.