The Cow Who Captivated a Nation

Published by PETA.

Update: Yvonne has come out of the woods and “turned herself in”. She “apparently got tired of the loneliness” and hopped a fence to a farm where she grazed for awhile, and she is settling in at the Gut Aiderbichl animal sanctuary. Yvonne’s son, who had been thought dead, was located by the sanctuary, and mother and son have been reunited in their new home.  

It may sound like the storyline of a Disney movie, but a cow in Germany has been successfully hiding out in the woods for nearly four months after running away from a Bavarian farm, where she was being fattened for slaughter.

As Yvonne the cow eludes search teams, including the police, rescuers from an animal sanctuary, and even a helicopter equipped with a thermal camera, her escape and the subsequent search for her have generated an international media frenzy. There is even a hit song about Yvonne playing on German radio, telling her, “Don’t let them take your freedom.”

Authorities had previously ordered that Yvonne be shot on sight after she jumped in front of a police car, but the order was rescinded after animal rights advocates rallied to her defense, setting up Facebook pages devoted to saving her, and Germany’s largest newspaper put up a reward for anyone who helped find her. If Yvonne is ever caught, she will spend the rest of her days at the Gut Aiderbichl Animal Sanctuary with her sister Waltraud and a calf named Waldi, who came from the same farm that Yvonne ran away from.

PETA Germany has talked to numerous reporters about Yvonne and has been quick to point out that she is no different from any other brainy bovine. Like Yvonne, all cows value their lives and do not want to suffer and die.

The average vegan saves 100 lives every year. To start saving cows like Yvonne yourself, order one of PETA’s free vegetarian/vegan starter kits.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Get PETA Updates

Stay up to date on the latest vegan trends and get breaking animal rights news delivered straight to your inbox!

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to our collection, storage, use, and disclosure of your personal info in accordance with our privacy policy as well as to receiving e-mails from us.

 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind