They say lightning never strikes twice in the same place, but cows certainly can.
This week, a man was attacked while walking in a local beauty spot on the South Downs Way, a place called Devil’s Dyke. The victim was airlifted to hospital with head and chest injuries. You can read the report in the Brighton and Hove News.
Supposedly, the cow was being chased by dogs when she trampled the man. This sounds improbable, as a cow being chased by dogs is unlikely to take the time to target, and trample, a walker. Far more likely is that the cow was attacking the walker, or the dogs, and the dogs were acting defensively. This is a common scenario among many of our recorded attacks and near-miss cases.
I guess when people see a cow running amok in the company of dogs, they draw conclusions based on their assumptions that cows are gentle, docile creatures and dogs are aggressive. We, in the COWS group, know the truth is often very different.
This is not the first time that cows in Devil’s Dyke have attacked a person. Three years ago, Abby Colmer was attacked and had to be airlifted to hospital. She had broken ribs and a punctured lung. Later, in a BBC report, Abby called for safety measures to protect walkers. Sadly, it seems nobody took any notice.
But it must be the dog’s fault? Er, no. If you want to read eye-witness reports of dogs trying to defend their owners from a cow attack, here are three: