Posts Tagged ‘cow’

by CHRISTIAN COTRONEO

If you happen to be in Poland’s sprawling Bialowieza Forest, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of its most storied residents: a herd of wild bison.

And you might even spot a strange, new addition to that herd. No, your eyes are not deceiving you. This isn’t forest magic.

That’s a cow.

And how did a farm animal end up joining a herd of fiercely independent — and very much endangered — beasts?

According to Poland’s TVN24 news portal, the cow escaped from her pen at a nearby farm last fall. Back in November, the fugitive farm animal was spotted again, keeping the unlikeliest of company.

“It’s not unusual to see bison near the Bialowieza Forest, but one animal caught my eye,” Adam Zbyryt, the bird expert who spotted the cow told TVN24 back then. “It was a completely different light-brown shade from the rest of the herd. Bison are chestnut or dark brown.”

The cow fit the description of one that had gone missing from the farm: a reddish-grown Limousin cow.

Then winter set in — and most assumed the cow, who wasn’t naturally built for the elements like her hardy friends, would perish.

But earlier this week, Rafal Kowalczyk, director of the Mammal Research Institute at the Polish Academy of Sciences, came upon an astonishing sight: the very same cow, still healthy and seemingly well-fed, and still making time with his wild friends.

Somehow, the runaway cow had managed to thrive over the winter, even as the bison herd hadn’t fully welcomed her into the fold.

Indeed, the images show a cow just at the fringe of the herd. Let’s call her a persistent cow, who may owe her life to the bison.

“She is not very integrated with the group, as bison act like one organism and she stands out,” Kowalczyk told the Polish news station. But wolves, he added, were likely discouraged from attacking her thanks to the daunting company she kept.

But the cow still faces an uncertain future, mostly because her very presence puts an already minuscule bison herd in danger. There are just 600 of these behemoths left in Bialowieza Forest, a UNESCO heritage site spanning some 350,000 acres between Poland and Belarus. For the bison, the primeval forest is their last stronghold in Europe, having been hunted to near-extinction over the last century.

If, as Kowalczyk points out, the bison do accept this insistent cow into their herd, it could lead to mating, which could contaminate the herd with hybrids.

Then there’s the real possibility of the cow dying a particularly painful death during childbirth, as a baby bison may be too much for her bovine birth canal.

It’s hard to blame the cow.

Who wouldn’t peer over the fence at these magnificent animals and not dream of running with them? Besides, by several accounts, she was earmarked for slaughter.

But it does leave a lingering question: What to do with this little dreamer?

Likely, she will have to return to the farm. Or, even better, a sanctuary might step in, thanks to the soaring popularity if this “rebel” cow.

But before then, this cow leaves us all with a little bovine inspiration: There’s no dream too big, too far — or even too weird.

https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/cow-bison-poland-forest

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In 2013, Stanford went to the Rose Bowl, and their band made people upset.

In 2014, Stanford went to the Rose Bowl, and their band made people upset.

In 2016, Stanford went to the Rose Bowl to play the Iowa Hawkeyes, and guess what happened at halftime when the Hawks were down 35-0….

They played sinks and skateboards:

They brought out a cow:

cow.0

They didn’t explain what the cow was — it just kinda walked around — but Iowa people sure hated it and booed.

Thanks to Pete Cuomo and Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

How will cows survive on the Moon?

One of the most vexing questions asked about space, scientists have spent decades debating this key issue.

Finally, after extensive computer modeling and over a dozen midnight milkings, engineers have designed, built, and now tested the new Lunar Grazing Module (LGM), a multi-purpose celestial bovine containment system.

Happy April Fool’s Day from APOD!

To the best of our knowledge, there are no current plans to launch cows into space. For one reason, cows tend to be large animals that don’t launch easily or cheaply. As friendly as cows may be, head-to-head comparisons show that robotic rovers are usually more effective as scientific explorers. The featured image is of a thought-provoking work of art named “Mooooonwalk” which really is on display at a popular science museum.

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150401.html

Thanks to Kebmodee for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

A field of cowbell-equipped-cows may create a soothing soundscape of wind and chimes, but what’s soothing to us doesn’t translate to the cows. Though Christopher Walken and internet humor from over 14 years ago require more cowbell, it turns out the actual bovine after which the bells are named really hate the things.

A study was performed as part of a doctoral dissertation for the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich where agricultural scientist Julia Johns and a colleague measured the decibel levels of cowbells. The team attached 12-pound cowbells to over 100 cows across 25 locations around the country, and it turns out the cowbells can reach decibel levels of 113 — far above the legal limit of 85. The cowbells aren’t just over the legal limit, but reach a level of noise equivalent to a jackhammer or a chainsaw.

The team studied the cows reactions, and found that the cows exposed to the cowbells chew their food for significantly less time than the cows without the bells, and some cows have even proven to have their hearing severely impaired.

The team does admit that the weight of the bells could also negatively affect the cows, but a slightly heavy cowbell necklace likely wouldn’t cause hearing impairment.

Farmers use the bells to locate cows grazing in pasture, but researchers have suggested replacing them with GPS trackers. However, the farmers claim that poor reception in the mountainous areas would make that solution difficult.

http://www.geek.com/geek-cetera/it-turns-out-that-cowbells-make-cows-miserable-1605552/