Jean Fee went with her husband and grandson to feed the cows last Saturday afternoon at their family farm in rural Urbana, Iowa.
After her husband went back to the house to get the grandson a drink, he heard screams. He went back out to find Fee lying on the ground with her grandson beside him. Fee was killed trying to protect her grandson from a cow attack, the Benton County sheriff’s office said.
“It’s pretty unusual for a cow to become aggressive,” Terry Engelken, associate professor at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine told the Des Moines Register. “We have a few instances of (cow attacks) across the country every year — but it’s uncommon. For it to result in a fatality is very uncommon.”
Engelken also said it's more common for cows to attack when they have a newborn calf, which was the case in this incident. "We also just see differences in temperament in cows like we see in dogs and cats and people,” he said.
The AP reports that Fee was flown to Cedar Rapids hospital where she died.
KGAN notes that Sheriff's deputies stood guard to keep cows from attacking rescuers as they attended to Fee.