Authorities in Germany on Monday called off a three-month search for an unpredictable fugitive deemed a threat to local residents and law enforcement officials alike.
But this fugitive – known only as Yvonne – isn’t your typical convict.
Yvonne is a six-year-old cow who made a last-minute escape on May 24 to avoid a trip to the slaughterhouse. She has been on the run ever since, first inspiring the wrath of law enforcement officials when she charged a police car in late July. The incident prompted authorities in Germany’s Mühldorf district to issue a shoot-to-kill order for hunters that might see the bold bovine. However, thanks in part to an outpouring of public support, the order was permanently revoked Monday.
During the summer-long ordeal, Yvonne wasn’t fooled by ploys to lure her to into the arms of the law. She evaded thermal-imaging cameras and search teams seeking a 10,000 euro ($14,533) reward offered by a German tabloid. Yvonne’s nerves of steel were likewise unshaken in the face of bait that included an attractive ox dubbed the "George Clooney of cattle,” her “sister cow,” Waltraud, or her calf, Friesi. In fact, an animal psychic reported that Yvonne is over domestic life in general, saying the cow “didn’t feel ready” to return to her old life, according to NPR.
Reports are now surfacing (from people still combing the Bavarian forest just for a look at the cow) that during her months on the lamb, Yvonne has become a hardened wild animal that “now looks more like a buffalo than a cow,” writes German newspaper Der Spiegel.
Should she decide to return to a life of domestic bliss, Yvonne has been purchased by German wildlife charity Gut Aiderbichl, which has offered her a place to live in peace.
"Yvonne has truly fought for her freedom,” the charity said in statement. “She has shown the world that her urge to be free is strong – even for a cow."