Last November, a domesticated cow escaped from it's pen on a farm in Poland. Months later, she was spotted living amidst a herd of wild bison. Though it appears she's found a new home—and even forest officials have confirmed that the bison appear to have accepted her as one of their own—others warn that there may be risks with this unusual living situation.
Rafal Kowalcyzk, biologist, bison expert, and director of the Mammal Research Institute at the Polish Academy of Sciences, recently spotted the cow again as it roamed the countryside with the 50-head bison herd. According to him, she appears to be in good health, though problems could arise if she were to mate with the bison.
He argued, because of their size difference, complications could arise in childbirth. Also, if the offspring were to survive, this could be bad for the genetics of the bison, which are already endangered. He argued that she should be recaptured and returned to the farm before spring (mating season) rolls around:
Regardless of the safety and health issues, many people rooted for the cow to remain with the bison:
Why not sterilise her and return her to a domesticated bison herd or to the wild herd to let her roam her days in freedom?— JE (@JohnEdginton) January 28, 2018
Why not let nature run its course. Cow chose a home naturally. Now man thinks we can tell nature its wrong because we want the bison to breed only the way we want.— Christian Magallon (@ChechenMag) January 28, 2018
Despite domestication, all animals retain the potential to be feral again surprisingly easily— Ruband'ebishugyi Rurema Nyagasani (@caesarowak) January 28, 2018
And others had a distinctly different opinion:
Others speculated about why the cow escaped in the first place:
HaHAHA It looks like a cow left a farm because of the “domestic abuse”and is going to start a new life ...😁— irene_krasovsky (@irene47491467) January 28, 2018
Are we sure she wasn't doing it just to piss off her parents? 😆— Seamus O'Beezlefeet (@GJMasterton) January 28, 2018
Perhaps this is the type of situation Ben Franklin was thinking of when he famously said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
Okay, yeah, probably not.