Yvonne (cow)

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Yvonne is a brown-white cow who in 2011 escaped from her farmer in Mühldorf, Germany, attracting media attention as she hid in the woods for many weeks. Farmers, police, and animal-rights activists were unable to find or capture her.


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

Multiple techniques were used to find her and draw her out of hiding. Searchers used infrared cameras, a helicopter, and used other cows as lures, which consequentially also escaped and are being lured with additional cattle.[2][3]

As all attempts to capture Yvonne failed, the cow received increasing 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 onto streets. Yvonne's first owner reports that Yvonne has a very nervous character.[citation needed]

The campaign to save Yvonne from the hunter's bullet was successful when the order to shoot on sight was rescinded permanently on 28 August 2011.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 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 https://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[permanent dead link]
  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. ^ "Entlaufene Kuh Yvonne ist gefangen worden | Bayern" (in German). Innsalzach24.de. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  5. ^ Ed Meza (2012-02-11). "Runaway cow heads to bigscreen". Variety. Retrieved 2016-09-15. 
  6. ^ Ramin Zahed (2012-02-13). "Howard to Milk Runaway Cow Story". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 2016-09-15.