Renegade Cow Facing Serious Trouble Takes Matters Into Her Own Hooves

In the face of danger, everyone reacts differently. Some completely shut down, scared stiff and knock-kneed. Others fashion themselves the hero, ready to dive headfirst into the unknown, to take on whatever fierce obstacles necessary to keep themselves alive. Unless you find yourself staring down your own mortality, it’s hard to predict how brave you really are.

One special cow took matters into her own hooves when her instincts suggested her life was in jeopardy. It’s puzzling how a cow could sense the end was near, but her struggle against the odds — and how it all turned out — will tug at your heart…

It’s a common belief that animals lack the ability to solve complex problems. But for Brianna, a Holstein-Friesian cow that looked like any other run-of-the-mill bovine, the notion was laughable.

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One fateful day Brianna and her mooing brethren were corralled into a strange, large truck. She sensed a change in the winds. It’s not every day a cow takes a trip in a vehicle. Something was happening that put her on high alert.

Kate Ausburn / Flickr

Racing down the New Jersey highway in the dead of night, the truck carried a two-story load of cows. The final destination was, sadly, the slaughterhouse. But the cows could have no way of knowing where they were headed, such an idea seemed impossible…

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But Brianna stood apart from the herd. Even though there’s no way to be sure of her perceptiveness, something caused Brianna to make a daring move aboard the second story level of the truck; something that suggests she knew exactly what fate had in store.

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At 2:45 am, the time had come for Brianna to take action. With a swift, powerful kick, she busted open the door keeping the cows safely inside their carriage. It was now, or never, and Brianna had made her decision.

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Still on the truck, flying down the highway, Brianna looked down at the 8-foot drop to the blurry paved road. In one moment of insane bravery, or maybe just unawareness since she’s a cow, Brianna leaped out of the truck bed into the night air.

Eight feet is quite a drop, and miraculously Brianna survived. In fact, she was fine! Despite some minor scrapes on her legs, she had landed the jump and still remained intact. Sayonara slaughterhouse!

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Still, the motivation behind her leap of faith was unclear. Sure, she could have a particularly tenacious personality, but how could she know to fear her impending doom? After all, none of the utter cows made a gamble for their lives.

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A lone cow on the open highway, Brianna set off on hoof. She roamed the roads with ease; thankfully traffic was almost nonexistent in the wee morning hours. Freedom tasted almost as good as fresh grass.

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The image of a runaway cow is a cute one, no doubt, but Brianna was still in plenty of danger on the motorway. An unsuspecting car could strike and her escape would be for naught.

Skylands Sanctuary / Facebook

Luckily, police officers arrived and succeeded in steering Brianna off the highway and onto a quiet road. But now they weren’t sure what to do — until one of the officers proposed a solution…

Mike Stura, the founder of Skylands Animal Sanctuary, fielded an early morning call from police. He recalled his cop friend phoning in, “He said there was a cow running down a big highway out here so I hopped into action.”

Skylands Sanctuary

When Mike arrived on the scene, the police officers had managed to tie Brianna to a truck so she couldn’t wrangle another escape. As an experienced rescuer of large animals, Mike quickly got to work. After placing her in a halter, he carefully lured her into the safety of his truck trailer.

Skylands Sanctuary / Facebook

Of course, Mike made sure to secure the trailer door, since he had a regular Houdini on his hands. Brianna had no idea where the new mobile cage she was in would take her, and this time, she was the only cow along for the ride.

Skylands Sanctuary / Facebook

When she stepped off the truck, Brianna’s future no longer involved the impending doom of the slaughterhouse. Now, she had the prospect of a long, comfy life, as boundless and peaceful as open pastures. Her new home was the Skyland Animal Sanctuary.

Skyland Sanctuary / Facebook

And a Sanctuary it was! The rescue group had re-homed all sorts of animals and there they coexisted on a massive farm. Pigs, llamas, goats, and cows galore roamed the sanctuary. Lots of the animals were saved from serious neglect, and on the farm, they were brought back to health with top-notch veterinary care.

Skyland Sanctuary / Facebook

Upon arrival, Brianna was brought straight to the vet. A quick examination revealed that her stunt woman style jump hadn’t caused any serious injuries. She was actually a young, healthy cow, of impressive size. In fact, the vet made a discovery about Brianna that framed her perilous escape in an even more touching light…

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Brianna was pregnant! Very pregnant! According to the vet, she was due to give birth to a large baby calf in about a week. All along, the instinct to flee from the slaughterhouse truck wasn’t just for her own life, but to protect the calf growing inside her.

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Straight away, Mike hooked Brianna up with an isolated pen where she could comfortably rest and prepare for delivery; a welcome reprieve from her exciting journey. But Brianna, as had been established, was a wild card. She didn’t play by the timelines of others, and two days after her arrival, she knew it was now or never…

Skyland Sanctuary / Facebook

Mooove out of the way! Baby cow comin’ through! Brianna went into labor. It all happened so quickly. They thought they had a week to make the necessary arrangements, but babies don’t wait for anyone, and Brianna was prepared to deliver.

Possumgirl2 / Flickr

With the vet not yet on premises, Mike had to step up and assist Brianna in bringing new life into the world. “At one point during the birth, she opened her eyes and looked at me! That’s when the reality of the situation really hit me.”

Skylands Sanctuary / Facebook

Several strenuous hours later, Brianna gave birth to a beautiful daughter. It turned out the reason for risking her life wasn’t some personal bid for freedom: the true motivation for the breakout was the maternal instinct to protect her young. Her healthy baby calf was named Winter.

Skylands Sanctuary / Facebook

Brianna couldn’t have picked a better place to spend her days with her calf than Skylands Animal Sanctuary. At long last, Mother and child were safe, happy, and free. As amazing as Brianna’s highspeed rescue was, other cow saves can get a bit more aerial…

Skylands Sanctuary

In the past, when people talked about drones they sounded like something out of science fiction. But today, drones have become so common that it’s now normal to see one flying through your local park.

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They’re actually very easy to learn how to use, and with a little bit of luck and skill, it’s pretty incredible what these little aerial cameras can capture, such as flying alongside birds like this one.

The authorities have even taken a liking to drones, as well. They are using them in search and rescue missions more and more these days. But it’s not just professionals utilizing these handy gadgets…

New Atlas

Dave, a man from Ontario, Canada, loves to go to the countryside and snap photos of the landscape and animals grazing there with his drone. He had no idea that his love of drone photography would eventually lead him to a dark discovery.

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It all started on a typical sunny July morning when Dave decided to go to a nearby pasture he was familiar with in hopes of catching that ‘perfect’ photo.

The area in question is home to many cows and cattle with rolling hills and watering holes. But that day, Dave noticed something strange about a particular cow. He needed to take a closer look…

Rumble Viral / Facebook

One blonde cow captured by his footage had something peculiar on their nose. Dave couldn’t quite tell what it was, but it looked like maybe coarse tufts of hair were growing out of its nose.

Rumble Viral / YouTube

Luckily cows are curious by nature, so the cow was intrigued by the drone and kept following it as it flew along. It was only then that Dave knew exactly what the strange thing on the cow’s nose really was.

Austin Black / UG Update

Dozens of large, sharp porcupine quills! Dave wasn’t sure how long the cow had been injured, but he knew if he didn’t act fast then the wound could become infected — or the quills could become permanently embedded in the skin.

Rumble Viral / YouTube

Upon further investigation of the footage taken by his drone, he noticed that all of the cows were tagged by their farmer. Using these tags, he was able to identify the injured cow’s name… Linda!

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With this information in hand, Dave raced to the farmhouse to notify the farmer of Linda’s grave condition. He could only hope that he managed to pass on the news before the cow came to greater harm.

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Together, the farmer and Dave began to isolate Linda from the herd. It wasn’t easy — the cows sensed that something was going down. Luckily, the men were eventually able to get her into the stables for treatment.

Rumble Viral / YouTube

The farmer administered local anesthetics to numb the wounded area first. Only then was he able to carefully remove the quills from Linda’s nose and apply antibiotics to prevent any potential infection.

Rumble Viral / YouTube

After her quick procedure was complete, Linda was fed a large bowl of corn and oats, and then reunited with her herd. The owner monitored Linda’s recovery from a distance and thanked Dave for his discovery!

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This isn’t the first time Dave has spotted something alarming on his drone and helped an animal in need, either. Believe it or not, this has almost become a second calling for him…

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Previously, he was out using his drone in the pasture and noticed another cow named Flo in distress. Her newborn calf managed to slip under the electric fence, becoming separated from the herd and herself.

Rumble Viral / YouTube

When Dave noticed what was happening on his drone’s feed, he ran down to the pasture and risked injury to push the baby calf, later named Sparky, back under the fence to reunite the two.

Rumble Viral / YouTube

This drone rescue is what inspired Dave to return to the pasture in July and ultimately save Linda. Taking action and returning Sparky to his mother gave him such a rush, he knew he had to do more to help.

The ever-evolving drone technology is proving to be a tremendous resource in more ways than one. Dave never expected his hobby to rescue not one, but two cows. Who knows how many more he might save?

It seems as if these cows are lucky to have Dave watch over them with his drone. Remember, if you’re using a drone and spot an animal in need, always contact the professionals. You just might save a life! And farmers do notice some unusual things…

Not all animals are created equally, especially when it comes to those we think of as cute and cuddly. Farmer Andrea Davis knows this all too well, as she often has to rid her property of all sorts of vermin in order to keep her crops healthy.

One day, while making the rounds around her farm, Andrea heard a noise coming from her cow’s water trough. She was positive that when she gave the cow his water earlier there was nothing inside. So, she nervously approached…

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When she peered inside the bucket, Andrea discovered something completely unexpected—there, inside the trough, was a rat! The tiny animal was desperately treading water, trying to escape before it was too late.

Normally, seeing a rat would lead to a call pest control. Rats, after all, could cause plenty of damage and wreck havoc on her animals’ food supply. But this one was looking up at Andrea with pleading eyes as he clawed at the side of the trough. Andrea felt sorry for him…

Normally, she would dispose of the rodent like any other pest, but something was different about this one. He was clearly exhausted and suffering from hypothermia. He needed help!

“Someone fell into the cow’s water trough tonight, and I noticed when I went to give night cookies. He was a young rat, not a baby but not an adult,” Andrea wrote in a Facebook post following the incident.

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“He seemed to be almost all outta swim by the time I got there,” Andrea continued. “And when I lifted him out and put him on the ground, he could barely move, just rolled over, shivering.”

It was at that point that Andrea knew the right thing to do. After weighing her options, she decided against leaving the animal to freeze. Instead, she would do what she could to help, even though it wouldn’t be easy.

Andrea had never cared for a rat before, but she was determined to try her best. She figured if she could feed him and keep him warm, he would hopefully be okay. It was going to take a skill set she wasn’t used to employing.

At that, Andrea quickly dried off the little rat, wrapped him up in a towel, and put him in a carrier cage with a hot water bottle. This way, he’d be warm and protected from the cats that roamed the barn.

Andrea didn’t immediately know what the rat needed, as far as nutrition went, but after some research, she came up with a recipe for a meal that would nurse him back to health. She fed him soft bits of chicken and some grains, and slowly it appeared his strength began to return!

Meanwhile, Andrea couldn’t help but be amazed by the rat’s sweet nature. “Even as he regained his strength, he didn’t bite, just crawled into my hand and sniffed everything curiously, crawled around using his funny tail as balance,” she claimed.

Before long, he started acting like a rat again! He was lively and his appetite had returned. Andrea never thought that she would have been so proud to protect the life of a rodent, but she was.

“Once his blood sugar came back up, he started to make tunnels in the towels and realizing he was in a cage, started to climb the walls. It was time to go back home to his family,” Andrea’s Facebook post read.

When Andrea checked the replies to her post the following day, however, she was taken aback by how her friends responded. “I have been chastised for not killing the rats who live here. Yes, they are naughty and chew up things they shouldn’t, get into places I don’t want them and have way too many babies,” she wrote…

“But there was no reason I should not have responded to his need for help,” Andrea continued. “No reason to wish him ill will, and I have no good reason to try to kill him or his kind.” At that, she continued to nurse him back to health.

Andrea noticed the rat began moving freely around his cage, and she knew it was time for him to return to the wild—a cause for celebration! He was feeling healthy again and she didn’t want to keep him from his natural habitat. But he almost seemed sad to leave her…

“I was happy to see him happy as he scurried away,” Andrea remembered in her post. “The others popped their heads up through their holes as he joined them, and I am sure he will have a wonderful story to tell tonight.”

Even though wild rats aren’t thought to have an emotional attachment to people, the bonding experience that he and Andrea had was special to her. It sounded strange, but she would remember this chance encounter for the rest of her life.

Andrea’s act of kindness might have received some initial backlash when her friends learned what happened, but in time, they’ll hopefully understand she just wanted to do the right thing. And the little rat is surely happy she did!

Say what you will, but Andrea simply wanted to help an animal in need. However, even though she went above and beyond to nurse her rat rescue back to health, she never forgot the most important thing: this is still a wild animal.

Unfortunately, one family had to be reminded of that lesson in the hardest way. Ever since he could remember, ten-year-old Aidan Pankey loved animals. That’s why he was over the moon when his grandmother presented him with an unexpected gift…

While his grandmother was walking down the aisles of Petco one afternoon, she came across an animal she felt Aidan would absolutely love. She immediately made the purchase and brought it home to him.

It was a pet rat! Aidan’s grandmother bought the little guy knowing her grandson would just adore the friendly rodent. The surprise left Aidan overjoyed, and he immediately named the rat “Alex.”

Aidan and Alex were instantly inseparable. Aidan made sure to take exceptionally good care of his new friend, and he treated him like a new member of the family. They did everything together, too.

Wherever Aidan went, his trusty new pal followed right along. Aidan’s grandmother seemed to know exactly which rat to buy, too. Alex was incredibly friendly and seemed to enjoy all the activities he and Aidan did.

Aidan even took Alex along with him when he went swimming! They became the best of friends right off the bat, and Aidan’s parents and grandmother couldn’t have been happier with the new addition to their family. Plus, Aidan wasn’t the only family member to embrace Alex…

The rest of Aidan’s family loved Alex just about as much as Aidan did. Just take a look at this picture of Aidan with his father and grandfather. Alex was having a great time hanging out on Grandpa’s shoulder!

For the two weeks, the boy was nothing but smiles from morning to night. A pet like Alex was exactly what he needed in his life. However, Aidan’s family would soon realize just how dangerous this new pal actually was…

Two weeks after Aidan’s grandmother purchased Alex from Petco, Aidan fell sick. He had an upset stomach, fever, and chills. His parents took him to the doctor, where he was diagnosed with the flu. He was sent home with orders to drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest.

Even though Aidan followed the doctor’s orders, his fever rapidly grew worse throughout the night. His parents eventually rushed him to the hospital—but it was too late. Tragically, Aidan passed away shortly after arriving. What had happened to this bright-eyed boy?

As it turned out, Aidan didn’t actually have the flu at all. The boy was suffering from rat-bite fever, which he contracted from his new pet. Rat-bite fever is characterized by severe, flu-like symptoms, and it can be passed to humans through scratches or bites. In rare cases, like Aidan’s, it’s deadly.

The incident with Aidan garnered a lot of media attention. His parents decided to sue Petco—which they believed to be responsible for Aidan’s death—for $20 million in damages. Petco, however, was ready for the case.

In a massive court case, the Pankeys’ lawyer (left) argued Petco was negligent and sold them a diseased rat. However, Petco’s lawyer (right) claimed the family was made well aware of the dangers the rat might pose before the purchase.

According to the store, anyone who buys a rat must sign a waiver acknowledging they understand it could possibly be infected with rat-bite fever. Aidan’s grandmother put her signature on the document, which meant she legally accepted the risks.

Unfortunately, the court eventually sided with Petco. The jury determined the family was well-enough informed of the dangers Alex potentially posed, and Petco was found to be not at fault for his death. The Pankey family was, understandably, devastated.

No parent should ever have to bury their child, and Aidan’s parents had to say goodbye to their son before he ever got to fully experience the wonderful life that was ahead. Aidan’s family would never forget how happy their son was for those two weeks prior to his passing.

Anyone thinking about welcoming a rodent into their homes—even one purchased at a reputable pet store—should consider the decision carefully. Rat-bite fever may be rare, but this unfortunate story is a reminder that many risks are simply not worth taking.

Aidan Pankey would always be remembered for his enthusiasm and fun-loving spirit. What happened to him after he adopted his pet rat, Alex, was completely an accident, but heartbreaking all the same.

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