Swiss Cow Attacks Hiker

Animal euthanized after attempts to keep it away from trail fail

Photo by Yasser Alghofily/Flickr

Here’s a new animal to add to your “use caution” list while on the trail: cattle. A mother cow attacked a hiker on an alpine pasture trail near Davos, Switzerland on Saturday.

The hiker escaped uninjured, but after several attempts to keep the cow from returning to the trail failed, officials decided that she posed a threat to the public, and put her down.

Of the 65 other cows in the herd, 16 of them were removed from the pasture because they were also considered aggressive.

Cattle attacks are more likely if there are calves nearby. Bulls and mothers will defend their calves if they feel there is a threat, sometimes exhibiting aggressive behavior.

A report from the Center for Disease Control in 2009 showed that cows killed about 20 people per year in the United States during the early 2000s.

This isn't Switzerland's first cow attack, either: Last year, a herd of the animals trampled a German tourist to death.

To prevent attacks by cattle, try to avoid walking near herds that contain calves, and always take a wide berth around cows. Stay calm, quiet, and move away slowly.