Richard’s story: gored by a Highland cow

On the 17th September, 2020, I was with my wife, and we were walking eastwards along the Purbeck Way towards Corfe Castle.

We came across a Highland cow with two calves, all lying down. As we were circumnavigating them, I suddenly found myself thrown up into the air.

I was dropped on the ground, and looked up to find a second cow standing over me. We had not seen this animal at all, as it had been shielded by the scrub behind us.

Lying on my back, I had to fend off the cow, using my legs.

In response to my calls, my wife ran over with a chunk of wood. Her presence distracted the cow and allowed me to get up. We quickly retreated from the scene. Shaken and in pain, we left the path and climbed up the hill instead.

After returning to our campsite, I discovered that the cow’s horn had penetrated my shorts and pants and had torn into the skin of my groin. I was bleeding. We had to arrange a taxi to take us to Poole A&E, where the groin injury was treated with 7 stitches.

We did see a warning sign, but it just advised us to take an alternative path if there were any cows on the path, and didn’t specify where this alternative path was. We didn’t have a dog with us.

I reported the incident to the farmer, who also happens to own a nearby campsite. Is it safe for horned animals to roam freely on land with public access? There should be clearer warning signs and proper signposting for alternative paths.

Photo by T. Q. on Unsplash

Report ID 242343504

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