Activists catch Yvonne the runaway cow in Germany

Fri Sep 2, 2011 12:42pm EDT
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BERLIN (Reuters) - German animal rights activists captured a runaway dairy cow named Yvonne on Friday, three months after her escape from the farm where she was to be slaughtered captured nationwide attention.

The bovine had become a media star, with helicopters and infrared used in a search across the southern state of Bavaria after she bolted in front of a police car.

Authorities from Muehldorf, the town near the farm where she broke through an electric fence, had deemed Yvonne a security risk after her encounter with the squad car and had given hunters permission to gun her down.

Activists from the Gut Aiderbichl animal sanctuary had tried to lure Yvonne from a forest where she was holed up with a variety of enticements -- including one of her calves at one point and a breeding bull named Ernst.

Capturing the cow was not easy -- she bucked in the air and required a double dose of tranquilizers when cornered in a field on Friday by a team accompanied by a vet with a blowgun. Now she is in a pen at Gut Aiderbichl.

"In the future she will be out in the fields with the other cows," said farm employee Hans Wintersteller.

(Reporting by Brian Rohan, Editing by Angus MacSwan)