When she was just four months old, Bonnie the cow heard her family being rounded up for slaughter at a meat farm in Holland, New York. In a moment when her keepers were distracted, she seized the opportunity to escape into the nearby woods. Word of Bonnie’s escape circulated through the community. People would send in reports of Bonnie-sightings in the woods for weeks to come, prompting the obvious question: “How is she surviving alone in the woods after a childhood of captivity?”
The answer was simpler than many expected: Bonnie was not alone. She had been adopted by a family of deer!
Hunter’s cameras, set up in the woods, caught footage of Bonnie being protected by a group of deer who lived in the woods. She found a family with them and they helped her survive!
The land Bonnie and her new deer family were living on actually belonged to Becky Bartel, a kind samaritan who knew that the deers’ benevolence couldn’t save Bonnie from the upcoming winter. If Bonne was to live, she would need more help.
So, Becky got to work earning Bonnie’s trust. Every day, she would go out into the woods with food and bedding for the young bovine, who grew to trust Becky despite her bad experiences with humans in the past.
Then, Becky reached out to Farm Sanctuary, a nearby non-profit who rescues abused, neglected, or abandoned farm animals and lets them live out the rest of the days peacefully, far away from the fear of being eaten.
After a couple failed attempts, Farm Sanctuary was able to sedate Bonnie and bring her to her new home.
Now she’s doing better than ever!
Thousands online have become lifelong Bonnie fans!
I’m really inspired by this runaway Cow Deer who saved her own life https://t.co/1dxKOK4wAt Let’s be Bonnie.
— CanCan (@AmazingCanCan) July 2, 2018
— Mashable (@mashable) June 28, 2018
They are better than we are.
— Missy (@missyslaymaker) June 27, 2018
We need these kinds of stories every day to remind us that not everyone is bad.
— william wright (@frank_begbi) June 28, 2018
How to express the words for Bonnie and her deer family. Such a lovely story with lots of love and affection.
— Bobbysingh (@bobbysingh6900) June 28, 2018
— Angel Galvan (@AngelEGalvan) June 30, 2018
This is a very moooooooving story.
— Kol Drake (@KolDrake) June 30, 2018
After 8 months in the woods, Bonnie has adapted to the Farm Sanctuary lifestyle and will spend the rest of her life there, as happy as a cow can be!
But she will likely never forget the kind deer who saved her at her lowest point…family is family forever.