Natural disasters affect more than just people and buildings. They also affect animals. While many evacuating residents take their pets with them, this isn’t always possible. It’s even harder when there are larger animals involved. For example, you can’t exactly evacuate wild horses and wild cows.

We know horses can swim, but did you know cows can swim? Apparently, cows can swim for miles. At least, there are three cows in North Carolina who successfully accomplished this feat.

Back in September, Hurricane Dorian swept 28 wild horses and about 20 wild cows out to sea. They were roaming freely on Cedar Island, and after the storm, they all disappeared.

About a month after the storm, one cow was discovered roaming around on the Outer Banks, about a 4-5 mile swim away from her original home. This cow has been nicknamed Doriene.

While it was amazing enough that one cow survived the storm, recently two more cows, Doriene’s family members, also showed up on the Outer Banks. All three cows are freely grazing around the grassy national park. Due to their harrowing journey, this trio of cows is affectionately being called “sea cows.”

Cape Lookout spokesman B. G. Horvat told McClatchy news group that the three cows are “grazing peacefully.” This seems like a well-deserved rest after such a long swim. Horvat added, “the cows certainly have a gripping story to share.” If only they could tell us about their journey.

Park rangers say that the cows seem happy and healthy and that they’ve found plenty of food, but their new home is only temporary. The plan is to transport the cows by boat back to their original home. The cows are wild and skittish, so most likely they will need to be sedated before their journey home begins.

Watch the video below for more details.


We’re beyond impressed that these cows survived. Honestly, we’re not sure we could’ve survived a 4-5 mile swim to safety. Hovart says that the cows are extremely lucky that they didn’t get swept out to the Atlantic.

Rhonda Hunter told Kerry Sanders on TODAY, “The cows surviving has just been a blessing.”

Pam Flynn also told TODAY, “There have been animals living on these islands for years and years and they’ve always found a way to survive.”

Did you know that cows could swim? Do you think any more cows will show up on the Outer Banks? Have you ever had to evacuate due to a national disaster?