Three castaway cows swept out to sea by Hurricane Dorian have been found living on North Carolin’s Outer Banks after they swam around five miles to safety.
Cape Lookout National Seashore officials think the trio survived the September storm by swimming from Cedar Island, across the sound, where they belong to a herd that roams freely.
When Dorian generated an 8-foot ‘mini tsunami,’ it washed them and dozens of other animals away, including 28 wild horses that died.
One cow was first spotted a month after the storm by park staff. The other two have been seen in the last two weeks.
Seashore spokesman B.G. Horvat told The Charlotte Observer the cows need to go home. He thinks they will have to be sedated for the boat trip.
He said: ‘I’ll say it’s about 4 miles across Core Sound.
‘Remember, the cows and all the horses were swept away with the water surging back. Who knows exactly, but the cows certainly have a gripping story to share.’
Horvat added: ‘Ever since they found each other, they have been hanging out together. They are just grazing on the North Core Island.’
The animals that died are thought to have been dragged into the Atlantic.
The surviving cows were part of a herd of 20, known as ‘sea cows’, who are looked after by caretaker, Woody Hancock.
The remaining members of the herd are thought to have died in the storm.
Wild horse manager Hancock said in September that 28 of the 49 horses on Cedar Island, between the Outer Banks and the mainland, were suspected dead.
The horses normally migrate to higher ground during storms, but Hancock says they didn’t have time as a ‘mini tsunami’ overwhelmed the island on September 6.
His wife Nena told The New York Times that they would help relocate the displaced cows: ‘We will be more than glad. We would be willing to help when that decision is made.’
At least 67 people died when the Category 5 storm slammed into the Bahamas with winds in excess of 185 mph and severe flooding with the final death toll expected to rise.