Yvonne (cow)

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Yvonne is a brown-white cow that escaped from its farmer in Mühldorf, Germany and caused a lot of attention in the media in 2011 after she had kept hiding in woods for many weeks. Farmers, police and animal rights activists were unable to find and capture her.


Yvonne was born in 2005. She had lived as a dairy cow for a mountain farmer in a valley called Liesertal in the Austrian Alps. In March 2011 she was sold to a farmer in Aschau am Inn, Bavaria. He planned to fatten and slaughter Yvonne. On 24 May 2011 Yvonne escaped from the electric-fenced grazing land of her farmer and kept hiding in woods near the villages Zangberg and Stefanskirchen[not in citation given (See discussion.)].[1] After escaping, Yvonne was bought by animal rights activist Michael Aufhauser who then tried to capture her and bring her to his animal sanctuary called Gut Aiderbichl, a former farm in Deggendorf, Bavaria.

Multiple techniques were used to find her or draw her out of hiding. Searchers used infrared cameras, a helicopter, and other cows used as lures.[2][3]

As all attempts to capture Yvonne failed, the cow received more and more attention from the mass media in Germany and Austria and later all over the world. Bild tabloid offered a reward of ten thousand euros for her recovery.[3]

Yvonne could be located but not captured because animal rights activists and police[who?] feared that any approach could drive her out of the area and on streets. Yvonne's first owner reported that Yvonne has a very nervous character.[citation needed]

The campaign to save Yvonne from the hunters bullet was successful when the order to shoot on sight was rescinded permanently on 28 August 2011. It was decided to ask all helpers to leave the area with a single hunter remaining to try to tranquilize Yvonne if possible. She would then be moved to the Animal Sanctuary owned by Michael Aufhauser. Concern grew however, that with the approach of winter, she might find it difficult to find proper food and shelter. Calls were made for food, water, and shelter to be provided in the forest for Yvonne.[citation needed]

On 1 September 2011 Yvonne was captured in Unteralmsham near Stefanskirchen and taken to the Gut Aiderbichl animal sanctuary, where it is presumed that she will spend the rest of her days safely grazing at pasture.[4]


U.S. producer Max Howard and Munich based Papa Löwe Filmproduktion partnered with Torsten Poeck and UK-based writer/producer Kirsty Peart on the development of the partly animated family feature film, "Cow On The Run."[5][6]


  1. ^ Bill Chappell "Yvonne, A Cow Wrapped In A Mystery Inside A Forest," The Two-Way: NPR's News Blog 15 August 2011 http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/08/15/139648411/yvonne-a-cow-wrapped-in-a-mystery-inside-a-forest
  2. ^ Swati Arya "Withdraw Yvonne cow shooting sanction: Zed," North India Times 15 August 2011 http://www.northindiatimes.com/news/126/ARTICLE/11000/2011-08-15.html
  3. ^ a b Helen Pidd "Yvonne the runaway cow brings fame to Bavarian village but no milk," Guardian 15 August 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/15/cow-fugitive-germany-reward
  4. ^ http://www.innsalzach24.de/nachrichten/bayern-lby/endlich-yvonne-wieder-1387320.html
  5. ^ http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118050122/
  6. ^ http://www.animationmagazine.net/features/howard-to-milk-runaway-cow-story/