Cow escapes farm to go and live with herd of bison

'Bison are like one organism and she stands out'

Jon Sharman
Thursday 25 January 2018 17:11
The light brown cow has been running with the bison for about three months
The light brown cow has been running with the bison for about three months

A cow that escaped from her farm and went to live with a herd of bison is still with them three months on.

The young escapee trotted away last autumn and has reportedly been living with a herd of gigantic bison in Poland‘s Bialowieza Forest, near the border with Belarus.

Newly taken pictures and video showed the creature running with its new companions, albeit, seemingly, on the fringes of the herd.

Its different colouring and much smaller size first caught the eye of ornithologist Adam Zbyryt.

He told Polish broadcaster TVN24 that he observed a group of about 50 bison last November.

Initially he thought the out-of-place animal was a bison with a mutated gene – before closer inspection revealed it to be a French Limousin breed of cow, a popular breed in Poland.

This week it was spotted again, by biologist Rafal Kowalczyk.

“This is a young cow, not too coordinated with the group. Bison are like one organism and she stands out," he told TVN24.

The scientist suggested the creature, despite being unfazed by the presence of its much larger new companions, may need to be re-captured before it becomes mature enough to breed.

Any hybrid offspring would contaminate the wild population, but there could also be a risk to the cow itself because bison calves are so large it may die giving birth, Dr Kowalczyk said.

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