Pregnant fugitive cow returns home with calf after surviving two months on tiny island

'Rambling Rose' gave birth on a small, deserted island in Ireland after vanishing from her owner's farm in July - she was only spotted last Sunday

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The Independent Online

A pregnant cow that went missing for two months has been safely brought back to her owner after she was spotted – alongside her newborn calf – feeding on a tiny island nearby.

Suckler cow ‘Rambling Rose’ disappeared in July, wandering off to a deserted island just 50ft-wide in diameter, in the waters of Breakey Lough in County Meath, Ireland.

Scroll down to see footage of the rescue

Her owner Sean Kelleher’s search efforts were fruitless, leading him to believe that she had drowned in the lake and that he’d never see her again.

However, his neighbour Kevin Carolan spotted movement on the island last Sunday with his binoculars and he later rowed over with his daughters to feed her, reports Breaking

Much to their surprise, her calf was there, too, and was healthy – with both of them feeding on the minimal vegetation the unnamed, uninhabited island provides.

“It’s clear she’s living on the vegetation there,” Mr Kelleher told RTE Radio One’s Countrywide, according to

“Every green leaf has disappeared, she’s been eating the ivy and the grass and the bark of a tree.

“She’s quite thin, but the calf is quite healthy so she gave what she could to keep the calf fed.




“I’m delighted to get her back. Margins are slim enough in suckler cows, never mind what it’s like to lose an animal.”

The animal and her calf – named Sunday in honour of the day they were spotted – were brought over from the island yesterday with the help of Meath River Rescue.

They had spent their final week on the island being fed to bring up their strength and to let the calf become accustomed to humans before its return, the rescue group said.

The trip took roughly eight minutes and saw Rose swim across the water buoyed by floating devices and with her head held above the water by farmer Mr Kelleher, while Sunday the calf was put in the dinghy.

According to the BBC, Meath River Rescue Chairman Christopher Rennicks said that the water was 20ft deep in some parts but that Rose managed to keep her cool and swam calmy.

Once on dry land, Rose spent a few minutes getting her breath back and, surrounded by an eager audience of around 200 people, marched with her calf up the hill following a round of applause.

Sunday is thought to be about three weeks old.