Three cows found alive and grazing more than two months after being swept out to sea by Hurricane Dorian have finally come home safe and sound.
The cows are part of a feral herd, affectionately nicknamed “sea cows,” that freely roams North Carolina’s Cedar Island. When Hurricane Dorian struck the island on Sept. 6, numerous animals, including many of the cows, were swept off the island.
Officials believe the cows managed to swim around five miles to a barrier island that’s part of Cape Lookout National Seashore Park on the Outer Banks, where they were found earlier this month. After surviving there for weeks, the cows appeared pleased to finally return to their old stomping grounds.
“That they were happy to be home was evident as they kicked up their heels and ran down the beach once they were released on their former range on Cedar Island,” Cape Lookout National Seashore said on Facebook.
They will likely reunite with three other surviving cows on the island, the Charlotte Observer reported. There were previously around 20 cattle in the herd, but most are believed to have died in Hurricane Dorian.
Photos from the National Park Service show wranglers corralling the castaway cows and readying them for transport by ferry.
“It took a lot of folks coming together to make this happen, and we are happy the cows made it home to Cedar Island,” Cape Lookout National Seashore Superintendent Jeff West said in the park’s announcement. “I am pretty sure they are too!”