Swimming pool chaos as Daisy takes a dip

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The Independent Online

When the cow jumped over the moon, all sorts of havoc ensued, but the popular children's nursery rhyme made no mention of swimming pools - which is where one heifer ended up after she took a little leap in Dorset.

It is unclear what prompted the cow to take a dip but the incident led to no end of strife for local emergency services who were tasked with removing her from the pool.

The drama unfolded on Tuesday when the animal, named Daisy by rescuers, escaped from a field on a farm in Motcombe, before wandering into the garden of a neighbouring holiday cottage. But her meandering came to an abrupt halt after the startled beast found herself submerged in a small pool.

Luckily the tale ended happily ever after - several hours later and following a complex rescue effort involving two fire crews from Shaftesbury, an animal rescue team from Poole, a vet and a hydraulic vehicle borrowed from the farmer.

Fire officer Michael Stead, 41, who was called to the scene at 9.30am, said the cow - which was less than a year old and not fully grown - could have been in the water for a number of hours.

"It was amazingly calm and it behaved pretty well," he said. "But it did make a few laps of the pool when we tried to put the harness on it, trying to make its escape."

Minutes later Daisy was caught and sedated by the vet. The sopping animal was then harnessed up and hauled out of the water before she was gently lowered onto dry land and led back to join the herd.

"She was a bit wobbly and looked a bit drunk - probably wondering what all the fuss was about," the fire officer said.

The group manager at Dorset Fire and Rescue Service, who has 21 years' experience, said the rescue was "not run of the mill" and added: "I have been involved in other incidents with cows but never one in a swimming pool before. We are just grateful in this case that it wasn't a public swimming pool."

The cow did not show any signs of suffering following its adventure, rescue workers said.