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Cows attack, injure joggers on Colo. trail

Boulder County rangers say the cows were likely protecting calves in attacks that sent one jogger to the hospital

By Brooke Baitinger
The Charlotte Observer

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Aggressive cattle attacked joggers as they ran on a trail in Colorado, officials said.

The cows appeared to be protecting their young, Boulder County Parks & Open Space officials said. One of the attacks sent a jogger to a hospital.

“This time of year they’re just very protective of their calves,” Erin Hartnett, a senior ranger for Boulder County Parks & Open Space who responded to the call, said in a statement.

Cows in the herd first rushed a runner and knocked her down at 8:40 a.m. Saturday, June 3, on the Meadowlark Trail, a department spokesperson told McClatchy News in an email.

The runner told officials she was not trampled or stepped on but said it was “very frightening.” She declined medical treatment for bruises and scrapes.

Then at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, June 6, a herd of cattle attacked another jogger on the trail, officials said. Someone on the trail saw the attack and called 911.

They saw the jogger “trying to protect herself on the ground, surrounded by about 15 or 20 cows, most of them mothers with their calves,” the Longmont Times-Call reported.

Boulder County Parks & Open Space rangers responded and Mountain View Fire Rescue sent an ambulance. That jogger went to a hospital, though officials didn’t know their medical condition.

Becca Fuchs, who wrote on Twitter that she survived one of the attacks, said it felt like a near-death experience.

“It was definitely near death for me. If the one that knocked me on my back had just landed with his hooves a few more inches over I don’t think I would be here. I hope people take this seriously,” Fuchs said. “I was just running on the trail.”

The Meadowlark Trail runs through a cattle grazing area. Boulder County officials said they closed the trail while “the rancher who leases the field moved the herd to a fenced area” away from public trails. They reopened the trail later Tuesday afternoon.

County officials posted signs along the trail telling users to expect grazing cattle, and a large sign at the trail’s entrance warns that there might be aggressive cattle this time of year. It instructs visitors to move slowly and keep dogs on leash.

A web page for the trail instructs visitors to “keep the gates closed due to livestock in the area” and says “all trail users must stay on trail due to active agriculture in the area.”

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