Three North Carolina cows swept out to sea when Hurricane Dorian sparked an 8-foot “mini tsunami” turned up months later — and it’s believed they swam four to five miles as the storm raged, according to a new report.
The bovine trio was living on the small coastal community of Cedar Island when the tsunami swept much of the wildlife off the island on Sept. 6 — including 28 wild horses that did not survive, officials told the Charlotte Observer.
Staff from Cape Lookout National Seashore on the Outer Banks spotted the first cow on the North Core barrier island about a month after the storm, spokesman B.G. Horvat told McClatchy news group. That cow was nicknamed Doriene, Wild Horses of North Carolina said in a Facebook post.
Shockingly, the other two emerged over the past two weeks — and all three have reunited and have been grazing on federal grass, according to Horvat.
“All three look healthy and well,” the wild horses organization posted. “It is so amazing how strong and resilient these animals have been.”
It appears the “family” of cows were pushed along on their journey by the storm surge, according to Horvat. They would have drifted off into the Atlantic if they were pushed any farther — the same fate suffered by some of the wild horses, the spokesman said.
“I’ll say it’s about 4 miles across Core Sound,” Horvat said in an email to McClatchy. “Remember, the cows and all the horses were swept away with the water surging back. Who knows exactly, but [the cows] certainly have a gripping story to share.”
The cattle, affectionately dubbed “sea cows,” are part of a wild herd of about 20 cows known for their presence on private land on Cedar Island, according to the Observer. Most were presumed dead following the storm.
The majority of the animals will need to be sedated and taken back to Cedar Island by boat, according to Horvat.
There is a 30-day deadline for someone to remove the cows, National Park Service officials told the Observer.
“After the 30 days, the park will have to deal with it,” Horvat told McClatchy. “I’m not sure what the plan would be if the park deals with it.”
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