Aerial footage from Charlotte TV stations captured the dramatic rescue of a cow that got stuck in a frozen Cabarrus County pond on Monday afternoon, only its head above the ice.
A two-man crew with a chainsaw and an ax arrived on a raft. As viewers watched live on Facebook, the Mount Pleasant firefighters tirelessly cut and chopped the ice around the cow after strapping the animal to a long cord.
“Come on Bessie!” one viewer said on Observer news partner WBTV’s Facebook page.
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“Poor baby,” said another.
A couple of viewers made light of the rescue – “Moooove (it) out of the water,” one quipped. “Frozen hamburger,” wrote another.
But most looked on with empathy at the scene on Blackwelder Road near Harrisburg.
“Bless the rescuers,” a viewer said. “Poor baby freezing and scared.”
“Praying for the workers and the cow,” wrote another. “Hopefully it will be out shortly. I know this is exhausting for the rescuers.”
The workers finally managed to get the cow back on all fours. But once it began to roam on land again, the cow came perilously close to needing another rescue.
“No she’s heading back to the water!” a viewer on Facebook said.
But the cow’s owner soon directed it away from the water and toward the other cows on his farm. The cow’s name is Julie, he told WSOC-TV.
“I saw a cow out in the middle of the pond,” the farmer told WBTV. “I was a long ways from her, and I didn’t know. I thought I might lose her.”
“Wow!” the N.C. Farm Bureau tweeted. “An ice rescue like we’ve never seen!”
“Thanks rescuers for saving a life,” a viewer posted on Facebook once Julie was back with the rest of the herd. “There still is humanity in this world.”