When a cow is stuck up to its belly in a pond, how do you get it out?
That was the question the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District faced — and eventually answered — near Ivy Hill Way and Albion Road in San Ramon on Sunday night.
was first alerted to the distressed bovine at about 8 p.m., Battalion Chief Derek Krause said.
After taking some slurps of water (presumably), the cow then wandered too far into the small pond and could not get out. On the shore, the cow's calf paced nervously back and forth.
The department brought in its search and rescue team. They illuminated the area with flood lights and began pumping the water out of the pond. But with most of the water gone, the cow was still bogged down, belly-deep in mud.
Though it was a last resort, the SRVFD needed to be prepared for the worst. They contacted an animal control specialist in Davis in case euthanasia became the only option.
"The challenge was the sticky mud," Krause said. "It was like a quick sand situation. You would get your boots in it and couldn't move."
Firefighters used hoses and created what Krause described as a "really wide swing" to pull the cow out of the mud and onto a tarp. But, after struggling for hours, the cow was too weak to stand.
So firefighters tied ropes around the cow and, using a windlass, dragged the cow to dry land.
Exhausted, the cow stayed on the ground, unable to stand. But, with some rest and a little help, the cow climbed up on its four legs around midnight.
Thankfully, for the owner of the cow, Jeff Neilsen, and, of course, for the cow and its calf, there was no need for the animal control specialist from Davis.
(And thank you to an alert reader who lives nearby and told Patch that something was going on. The reader thought it might have been a crime scene, but fortunately the cow was not wanted on any warrants.)
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