Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Of Coronations and Cow Attacks

Yes, yes, I know today is the day everything changes for the better in America -- the day that the darkness and despair of the Bush years finally gives way to a new dawning of American hope and promise, as Abraham Obama takes the oath of office in Washington. But what I really want to blog about is a cow attack in a Boulder open space.

Here's how the Boulder Daily Camera covered the incident, followed by my selection of reader responses, which not only show that Boulderites can't resist a pun, but that some of them have a sly sense of humor about the slightly nutty place they call home.

Cow charges cyclist on Boulder open space

BOULDER, Colo. — A cow charged a woman on the South Boulder Creek Trail on Monday afternoon, knocking her down, officials said.

The woman was riding her bike on the trail when she encountered the cow, and she stopped to let the animal pass, said Pete Taylor, a ranger for Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks. The cow knocked the woman over and walked on her legs, he said.

He said the woman -- whose name wasn't released -- wasn’t seriously injured, and she refused medical treatment.

She didn’t appear to do anything to provoke the animal, which witnesses said appeared to have an injured leg, he said. The cow had left the scene by the time rangers arrived, but hikers coming down the trail were warning others about the rogue bovine.

Marshall Mesa open space is leased by livestock owners and used as grazing land. Taylor said the cow’s owner was notified.

In 2003, a woman was rammed three times and her pelvis fractured by a grazing mama cow when she accidentally ran between the animal and her calf on the South Boulder Creek Trail.
Jason Vogel, vice president of the Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance, called Monday's attack "odd, rare and random" and said he hasn’t heard of any other cows going after cyclists. It’s not even common to come across cows on the trails, he said, though they often can be seen nearby. "It’s not something people should be concerned about," he said.

And now some of the responses:

"Udderly ridiculous."

"Obviously, she was invading the natural habitat of the bovine beast. One should tread there carefully, if not at all. Humans must pay attention to what mother nature is trying to tell them. We have far exceeded our grasp; do not cows need a home, too? Why? Why? Boulder!? Let them graze with grace! And do not insult them with your feeble, misguided attempts at recreation."

"This was an accident waiting to happen; there are so many off leash cows in the Open Space it was just a matter of time before one attacked a visitor. And who picks up their poop? And who keeps them out out of the riparian areas?? The answer is simple. The ranchers need to go to the OSMP and watch a video about the impact of off-leash cows in the open space, and pay a fee to get a green tag indicating the cow is safe. If the cow can't be trusted around people it should be kept in a "cow park" with a fence round it to keep it away from the populace. Cows in riparian areas or ditches should be leash only: they can get water at a trough. The farmers need to pick the poop and rangers need to ticket offenders."

"What's happening to the cow? Let's hope it's granted immoonity."

"A solitary cow? That's unherd of."

"This woman was clearly cycling beyond her weight class. That cow was roughly 6 times her size. May I suggest cycling trails near a farm that raises fainting goats?"

"It would have be-hooved this lady to pay closer attention when in the cow pasture."

"Clearly a case of an angry Republican cow. Can't take the changes happening. We will probably see more of this for awhile. If you're cycling, protesting, driving a Subaru or Prius, you might steer clear of known Republican cow hang-outs for a few months."

"The (Daily Camera) completely misses the obvious question. Is the lady a vegetarian or not? This could be a hate crime."

"I hear the cow is trying to get a book deal out of the whole thing. Really milking it for all it's worth."

"Arguably, the cow is to blame, but it's a mooed point."

"Why didn't she steer around the cow?"

"There's a guy in Wisconsin who knows how to take care of sh*t like this!"

"How much did the cow charge? I thought the trails were free?"

We now return you to coverage of the Barack Obamafest taking place today in Washington, D.C.

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