One cow has chosen to go off the grid.
The bovine escaped her pen at a farm in Warsaw, Poland, three moths ago and has been running free with wild bison in the area ever since.
Bison, an apparently accepting bunch, don’t seem to mind their formerly domesticated new squad member. The red cow has been spotted several times roaming with a herd of the hardy animals, searching for food scraps in the snow near Bialowieza Forest, reports the Associated Press.
Rafal Kowalczyk, a bison expert, is one of the lucky individuals who has spotted the cow cavorting with the bison. Based on his expertise, he told AP that the cow looked healthy and welcomed by the bison, even though she hangs back at the edges of the group. Kowalczyk believes the farm animal’s thick coat and Poland’s relatively mild winter have helped the cow survive in the harsh conditions of the wild.
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While it seems like a story straight out of a Disney movie right now, wildlife experts are concerned about the cow’s future. If the female mates with one of the male bison, the resulting birth could kill her. Any half-cow, half-bison calves could also affect the overall gene pool of the Polish bison, which are endangered in the area.
For now, everyone is keeping a close eye on this one-of-kind scene. Animal lovers see the bovine as an inspiration, an animal that dreamed big, escaped her slaughterhouse future and made a new life for herself.
Kowalczyk and others are planning to interrupt this narrative come summer to prevent the cow from mating with a bison. If the cow can be located and approached in the warmer months, she will be safely removed from the bison herd.