Renegade Cow Facing Serious Trouble Takes Matters Into Her Own Hooves



In the face of danger, everyone reacts differently. Some completely shut down, scared stiff and knock-kneed. Others fashion themselves the hero, ready to dive headfirst into the unknown, to take on whatever fierce obstacles necessary to keep themselves alive. Unless you find yourself staring down your own mortality, it’s hard to predict how brave you really are.

One special cow took matters into her own hooves when her instincts suggested her life was in jeopardy. It’s puzzling how a cow could sense the end was near, but her struggle against the odds — and how it all turned out — will tug at your heart…

It’s a common belief that animals lack the ability to solve complex problems. But for Brianna, a Holstein-Friesian cow that looked like any other run-of-the-mill bovine, the notion was laughable.

NJ News

One fateful day Brianna and her mooing brethren were corralled into a strange, large truck. She sensed a change in the winds. It’s not every day a cow takes a trip in a vehicle. Something was happening that put her on high alert.

Kate Ausburn / Flickr

Racing down the New Jersey highway in the dead of night, the truck carried a two-story load of cows. The final destination was, sadly, the slaughterhouse. But the cows could have no way of knowing where they were headed, such an idea seemed impossible…


But Brianna stood apart from the herd. Even though there’s no way to be sure of her perceptiveness, something caused Brianna to make a daring move aboard the second story level of the truck; something that suggests she knew exactly what fate had in store.

Hip Foto Guy / Flickr

 At 2:45 am, the time had come for Brianna to take action. With a swift, powerful kick, she busted open the door keeping the cows safely inside their carriage. It was now, or never, and Brianna had made her decision.

IB Times

 Still on the truck, flying down the highway, Brianna looked down at the 8-foot drop to the blurry paved road. In one moment of insane bravery, or maybe just unawareness since she’s a cow, Brianna leaped out of the truck bed into the night air.

 Eight feet is quite a drop, and miraculously Brianna survived. In fact, she was fine! Despite some minor scrapes on her legs, she had landed the jump and still remained intact. Sayonara slaughterhouse! 


Still, the motivation behind her leap of faith was unclear. Sure, she could have a particularly tenacious personality, but how could she know to fear her impending doom? After all, none of the utter cows made a gamble for their lives.

A lone cow on the open highway, Brianna set off on hoof. She roamed the roads with ease; thankfully traffic was almost nonexistent in the wee morning hours. Freedom tasted almost as good as fresh grass.

USA Agencies

The image of a runaway cow is a cute one, no doubt, but Brianna was still in plenty of danger on the motorway. An unsuspecting car could strike and her escape would be for naught.  

Skylands Sanctuary / Facebook

Luckily, police officers arrived and succeeded in steering Brianna off the highway and onto a quiet road. But now they weren’t sure what to do — until one of the officers proposed a solution…

Mike Stura, the founder of Skylands Animal Sanctuary, fielded an early morning call from police. He recalled his cop friend phoning in, “He said there was a cow running down a big highway out here so I hopped into action.” 

Skylands Sanctuary

When Mike arrived on the scene, the police officers had managed to tie Brianna to a truck so she couldn’t wrangle another escape. As an experienced rescuer of large animals, Mike quickly got to work. After placing her in a halter, he carefully lured her into the safety of his truck trailer.

Skylands Sanctuary / Facebook

 Of course, Mike made sure to secure the trailer door, since he had a regular Houdini on his hands. Brianna had no idea where the new mobile cage she was in would take her, and this time, she was the only cow along for the ride.

Skylands Sanctuary / Facebook

When she stepped off the truck, Brianna’s future no longer involved the impending doom of the slaughterhouse. Now, she had the prospect of a long, comfy life, as boundless and peaceful as open pastures. Her new home was the Skyland Animal Sanctuary.

Skyland Sanctuary / Facebook

And a Sanctuary it was! The rescue group had re-homed all sorts of animals and there they coexisted on a massive farm. Pigs, llamas, goats, and cows galore roamed the sanctuary. Lots of the animals were saved from serious neglect, and on the farm, they were brought back to health with top-notch veterinary care.

Skyland Sanctuary / Facebook

Upon arrival, Brianna was brought straight to the vet. A quick examination revealed that her stunt woman style jump hadn’t caused any serious injuries. She was actually a young, healthy cow, of impressive size. In fact, the vet made a discovery about Brianna that framed her perilous escape in an even more touching light…

MPR News

Brianna was pregnant! Very pregnant! According to the vet, she was due to give birth to a large baby calf in about a week. All along, the instinct to flee from the slaughterhouse truck wasn’t just for her own life, but to protect the calf growing inside her. 

Jed Sheehan / Flickr

Straight away, Mike hooked Brianna up with an isolated pen where she could comfortably rest and prepare for delivery; a welcome reprieve from her exciting journey. But Brianna, as had been established, was a wild card. She didn’t play by the timelines of others, and two days after her arrival, she knew it was now or never…

Skyland Sanctuary / Facebook

Mooove out of the way! Baby cow comin’ through! Brianna went into labor. It all happened so quickly. They thought they had a week to make the necessary arrangements, but babies don’t wait for anyone, and Brianna was prepared to deliver. 

Possumgirl2 / Flickr

With the vet not yet on premises, Mike had to step up and assist Brianna in bringing new life into the world. “At one point during the birth, she opened her eyes and looked at me! That’s when the reality of the situation really hit me.”

Skylands Sanctuary / Facebook

Several strenuous hours later, Brianna gave birth to a beautiful daughter. It turned out the reason for risking her life wasn’t some personal bid for freedom: the true motivation for the breakout was the maternal instinct to protect her young. Her healthy baby calf was named Winter. 

Skylands Sanctuary / Facebook

Brianna couldn’t have picked a better place to spend her days with her calf than Skylands Animal Sanctuary. At long last, Mother and child were safe, happy, and free. It was all thanks to Brianna, the brave cow that lived.

Skylands Sanctuary


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