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By L. Ballou - correspondent


Animal Attack

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By L. Ballou - correspondent 


©2000 Animal Attack FIle/L. Ballou. All rights reserved.

While I have no footage of this to show, as I was the only adult around, I do have a story about an animal attack I recently endured.

On Monday March 20th, my 2000 lb Angus Heifer gave birth to her first calf.  She was in a 10x12 stall.  I opened the door, and she exited, and I went inside to check on the baby.  I never got closer than 8 feet.  The mother then came back into the stall and began eating the grain I had just given her.
I was on the phone with my husband at the time, telling him about the new calf.  I was standing about 8' from the doorway, leaning against the wall.  Another calf entered the barn, and I watched while the two introduced themselves.  The newborn calf proceeded to "bawl" (at this point it was on the other side of her mother and I could not see it).  The mother looked at the calf to see what was wrong, then looked at me and charged right for my abdomen.  The second she backed up for another lunge, I attempted to run
from the barn, unsuccessfully.  

She rammed me in the back with her head, sending me face first into a
manure pile.  It was raining outside, and everything was very muddy and slippery.  My glasses and the phone both went flying at this point.  My husband was luckily still on the other end- but he was obviously upset listening to me scream for help.   

At this point, I was on my back screaming at Onxy (the cow) to stop- not that it did any good.  She rammed my thigh and rolled me over, then my shoulder.  I had attempted to kick at her, but missed.  I have never felt such a sense of terror- I knew I had no control over anything that had, or would happen.  I also knew there was no one around to help.  In the house were two of my children, 4 and almost 2.  I hoped my husband had heard me scream for him to call for help.  He was at work, about 20 minutes away.  

I remembered watching bear attacks on TV, and decided to try the advice given there- roll into a ball and stay still and quiet.  As I was trying to make my limbs move into this position, she again rammed me with her head, this time in my side knocking the wind out of me.  She literally threw me
through the air into the outside wall of the barn, where she proceeded to keep hitting me with her head.  

I saw my milk cow, Pearl, heading in my direction, and I could hear the cows in other fields mooing wondering what was going on- I'm not sure exactly what happened next- I saw Pearl with her head lowered trotting towards Onxy's back end, then I think Pearl head butted her.  Onxy turned to look behind her, and I crawled away as fast as I could until I was under the electric fence and out of the pasture.  I then crawled to the house to my other
phone, and called my husband back at work.  He called 911.

I was very fortunate- no broken bones from this incident, just a lot of bruises and emotional scars.  I have nightmares about this attack every day, and can not bear to go into the pasture where this cow is.  We are in the process of selling her.

I can not rationalize why this happened- and unless it's happened to you, I don't think you really grasp the sheer terror.  I've seen lots of TV shows on attacks, and we all gasp and awe at the poor person on the receiving end, and are amazed when they survive- but until you yourself have been in such a position of complete helplessness, especially coming from an animal though to be fairly non-aggressive, you can never really understand the level of fear you expereience.  Couple that with the fear of knowing there is NO ONE around to help you-
As this event is very fresh in my mind, I am having great difficulty in even being outside with the animals. I know how easy it would be for her to go straight through the electric fence and charge me again.  The question brought to me by my husband, is why would she do that?  Well, I still don't know why she did it the first time, so who's to say.  I do believe she senses my fear now, though.
I am wondering if you know of any other people who have been attacked by animals whom they knew and had to face again, and how they dealt with it and got over it.  I know I am having an extremely difficult time.
Thank you.

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