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Cows attack jogger on Boulder County trail

A woman who called 911 says roughly 30 cows surrounded the runner and trampled her.

BOULDER, Colo. — A woman in Boulder County was taken to the hospital this week after a herd of cows attacked her. She was running on a trail when a witness said about 30 cows swarmed her and stomped on her. 

On Tuesday at the Coalton Trailhead, Vivian Kuenn said she was biking down the hill when a runner was jogging towards it. That's when she saw a herd of cows surround the jogger. 

"She screamed and was just down on the ground while they were just trampling her," said Kuenn. "In a very short span of time she stopping moving. At that time I though, oh my gosh, did I just watch her die? Which thankfully wasn't the case."

Boulder County Parks and Open Space said the runner was hurt and taken to the hospital to be treated. 

RAW: Woman calls 911 to report cows attacking a jogger on a Boulder County trail

At the start of the trailhead, there's a sign that says "Give Cows Space. They Can Be Aggressive."

The department said it put up the sign this spring because it's calving season. 

"We want to inform the public and help reduce risk between, and interaction between, the public and livestock when they are out here grazing," said Mike Foster, the agricultural resources division manager for Boulder County Parks and Open Space. 

Foster helps manage 25,000 acres of agricultural land that Boulder County owns. They lease properties to tenants who help graze the grasslands. 

The grazing by cattle can help reduce fire risk. 

"Livestock can be very aggressive during calving season, and we are in calving season," Foster said. "Just like a momma bear elk or moose, a momma cow is going to be very protective of its young. And when they perceive a threat they are going to react to that threat."

Kuenn said it didn't look like the jogger was doing anything wrong. She stayed on the trail, said Kuenn. 

Foster said if someone approaches cows quickly the animals may perceive it as a threat. 

"What we advise is give cattle a wide berth," Foster said. "If cattle are standing on the trail it's better to turn around and wait in your car for a little bit until cattle move off the trail."

Colorado's beauty brings people to the trail, but now some will think twice when they have to share it with a herd. 

"I am going to be very very cautious now around any cows I do see grazing if they are near me," said Kuenn.

Boulder County Parks and Open Space said they've moved the herd to a different area that doesn't have trails. The department is taking a look at how they manage the area with visitors and cattle.


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