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Cows rescued from island two months after flood

Thursday March 28, 2013 - 13:27 EDT
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Four of five Charolais cows stuck on a small island surrounded by deep mud near the Bundaberg port have been rescued. - ABC

A two-month ordeal full of mud, sweat and tears has finally drawn to a close.

Four of five Charolais cows stuck on a small island surrounded by deep mud near the Bundaberg port have been rescued.

Floodwaters washed them about three kilometres from their home property and all efforts to recover them, including ferrying them out, failed.

A novel plan to create a 25-metre bridge of carpet allowed the cattle to walk out to dry land at low tide.

Rescue organiser and neighbour of the cattle's owners Caroline Ferris said time was quickly running out to rescue them.

They had plenty of feed but had only a small pool of fresh water.

Mrs Ferris said the ordeal lasted several hours and was exhausting for both the rescuers and the rescuees.

"The cattle were pretty stressed, they weren't marching two by two like Noah's Ark," he said.

"They were baulked by the orange construction tape (lining the carpet), they didn't want to go in, we let them stand there for a good half an hour and think about it and just look."

Owner Wendy Harlin, from Childers, says she's had two months of sleepless nights worrying about her "pets".

She says she won't let them go back on agistment in North Bundaberg, and may have to give them a good bath.

"No, they're going home for a bit of love and cuddles.

"I have shampooed them before, (they get dirty) in the Childers red soil."

The fifth cow is still somewhere on a series of interconnecting islands.

Residents and fishermen are urged to look out for her around the Barubbra Island/Moore Park area, but not approach because she's quite cranky.

Seven more of the Harlins' cattle from the same herd were also swept away and are still missing.

The rescue group had appealed to the local council and RSPCA for help, but both said the issue was out of their hands and not their responsibility.


© ABC 2013

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