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Cow due for export escapes at Fremantle

AAP logoAAP 14/11/2016 Greg Roberts

A cow has made a mad dash for freedom while being loaded onto a ship for live export, jumping into the water at Fremantle Harbour and swimming away.

It then outsmarted its pursuers, running off along the beach where it was still missing 24 hours later.

Fremantle Sea Rescue member Josh Gammon-Carson filmed the cow swimming in the water while he drove towards it on a jet ski and tried to herd it back to shore on Sunday afternoon.

The cow eventually swam to shore where veterinarians and Fremantle port staff were waiting to try to safely capture the freedom-seeking bovine, but it ran off south along the beach.

It was spotted more than 7km away at North Coogee later in the night.

The animal was one of 10 cattle being unloaded from a truck at Fremantle wharf by live export shipping company Wellard.

All 10 briefly escaped when they were incorrectly unloaded, due to miscommunication that caused the truck driver to not follow unloading procedures, a Wellard spokesman said.

Eight were quickly rounded up, one heifer injured her legs and was immediately euthanised and the escapee jumped into the water.

Rangers and Wellard stockmen spent Sunday night and Monday looking for the cow after it was spotted by a member of the public at North Coogee, a City of Cockburn spokeswoman said.

"It's a hot day. We're quite worried about this poor guy," she said, with temperatures of about 37 degrees forecast for Monday.

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