YVONNE, A REFUGEE cow, has been making headlines since May when she fled her field in Zangberg, Germany. She ran away after sensing a trip to the slaughterhouse, ultimately causing hunters, animal rights activists, and those looking to make €10,000 to become involved in the search.

The cow spent her new-found freedom peacefully grazing the Bavarian countryside until she jumped in front of a German police car, causing authorities to deem Yvonne a threat to traffic safety. Police subsequently granted permission to hunters to shoot the cow, outraging animal rights activists who wanted to see Yvonne captured alive and unharmed.

A German newspaper, Bild, has offered a €10,000 reward for the safe capture of Yvonne, while an Austrian animal sanctuary Gut Aiderbichl has agreed to purchase her from the original owner for €600–700 in order to keep her safe.

The sanctuary bought the cow so that she could live the rest of her life peacefully in a field. Its workers have tried many techniques to lure Yvonne into safety, including the help of an animal psychic and an attractive bull named Ernst.

Because nothing has worked so far, Michael Aufhauser, founder of the sanctuary, has hired a helicopter to search for thecow. He also has a backup plan: Yvonne’s two-year-old calf is being trained to call for his mother.

In addition to the search efforts of activists and hunters, an 11-year-old boy named Sepp is on the hunt for Yvonne because of Bild’s reward.

“I know that I will find her. My dad has 18 cows. I often have to help him feed them and take them out to pasture. I know what I’m doing,” he told Bild.

So far, Germany’s most wanted cow has masterfully avoided the authorities and civilians alike.

—Michelle LePage