Bonnie was very attached to her mother. She had spent her entire life living on an upstate New York farm with her mom.
But when the farm’s owner died, they were doomed to be separated.
The cows living on the farm were slated to be sold to a slaughterhouse. But Bonnie didn’t want to live without her mother or to be carted off.
Bonnie’s herd was being loaded up into the truck and Bonnie decided to charge off. According to People, Bonnie was spooked by the cries from her family who were being loaded into the truck.
Bonnie escaped into a nearby forest.
No one was able to recapture the calf. Weeks had passed and the weather grew colder, but no one was able to track Bonnie down. But word had spread about Bonnie’s disappearance.
“Over the next few months, Bonnie became something of a local celebrity. People marveled at the plucky calf who had resisted slaughter and continued looking for her in the woods near her old home. Aside from quick, uncertain glimpses, however, she remained hidden in plain sight,” Farm Sanctuary wrote on their blog.
Winter had come and people were wondering how Bonnie would survive the frigid weather.
And people soon found out.
“Once hunters started picking her up on their wildlife cameras, people began seeing Bonnie as she truly was,” the blog said. “And what they saw amazed them. Already impressed by her will to live, they were amazed to see just how she was living — and who she was living with.”
Video revealed that Bonnie had been staying with a herd of deer.
Since Bonnie lost her herd, she tried to find another one.
And the deer were happy to accept Bonnie as one of their own. Bonnie and her deer herd ate, slept, and ran together.
“The Holland community became just as smitten with this elusive “cow-deer,” growing more and more excited every time she appeared on the trail cams. As much as they wanted to help her, however, Bonnie was desperately afraid. She became as elusive as a deer, disappearing into the forest whenever people appeared — only trusting the deer who had become her second family,” the blog says.
Eventually, a local neighbor and animal lover named Becky was able to gain Bonnie’s trust.
“Becky trekked through the snow every day, using a sled to bring food and fresh bedding for Bonnie. In time, Bonnie began to trust her — even the deer started to approach Becky for some food and affection — and they settled into a routine. Unlike the first humans in Bonnie’s life, Becky saw and valued her as she truly was: not as ‘beef,’ but as someone, not something,” the Farm Sanctuary wrote.
At this point, Bonnie had been on her own for eight months but as neighbors were threatening to capture and kill her.
Becky decided to ask Farm Sanctuary for help.
It took three trips and two weeks before Farm Sanctuary was able to corral Bonnie.
Now Bonnie lives at Farm Sanctuary where she is loved and well cared for. Check out Bonnie in her happy new home in the video below.
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