Cows have a reputation as docile, calm creatures. But the truth is much more grim. In 2015, cows officially became the deadliest large animals in Britain. And yet, the current trend of taking selfies with cows and newborn calves continues—with potentially fatal consequences.
According to a 2009 article from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20 people a year are killed by cows in the United States. In most of these instances (16), the cows purposely attacked the humans, usually resulting in fatal injuries to the head and chest. In England, 74 people were killed between 2000 and 2015.
The aurochs, a seven-foot tall ancestor of modern cattle, has been extinct for nearly 400 years. Yet you may have seen one. They were depicted in ancient cave drawings for millennia, often engaged in heated battle. Soon, you may have the opportunity to see one again—in the flesh.
The conservation attempt began with noble intentions: to save wild horses and burros from certain extinction. In the 1960s, cowboys and other business owners hunted these symbols of American freedom and independence across the West for use in cheap pet food. In 1971, Congress passed the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, making it a crime to kill the animals on public land and placing them under the protection of the Bureau of Land Management. Which makes it all the more strange that BLM’s advisory board is now recommending that 45,000 wild horses and burros be either euthanized or sold.