CHARLOTTE, N.C. (The Charlotte Observer) - A storm-tossed cow credited with swimming 5 miles across the Core Sound to the Outer Banks during Hurricane Dorian was pregnant during the ordeal, and it just gave birth.
The healthy calf has been seen following its mother around Cedar Island, which sits between the North Carolina coast and the Outer Banks.
Ranch Solutions, which was hired to take the cow back to Cedar Island after the storm, announced the birth Monday on Facebook, referring to the irritable mother cow as Dori.
“She gave us the most challenges, spotting & stalking, & the most trips through the thickest marsh during our rescue operation last November,” the company posted.
“She has now calved a healthy calf back on Cedar Island! We’re happy to know there’s still a possibility of this wild herd prospering!” the post said.
It’s believed 25 to 30 wild “sea cows” roamed Cedar Island before the storm. All but six drowned after being swept into the Core Sound by storm surge, island resident Wood Hancock told McClatchy News.
The newborn calf, which takes the herd to seven, was first reported Saturday, according to the Facebook page Carolina Wild Ones. “She wont let us get close enough to know whether it is a boy or girl,” the Facebook page reported Tuesday.
Twenty-eight wild horses also drowned in the storm, McClatchy reported in September. The horses were part of a herd of about 50 that roamed 1,000 acres of privately owned land on Cedar Island. Twenty-one survived the hurricane.
Three of the cows, including Dori, were found weeks after the storm at Cape Lookout National Seashore, a national park that is 4 to 5 miles across the Core Sound from Cedar Island, according to the National Park Service. (Dori, also known as Doriene, was named after the storm, according to a Wild Horses of Cedar Island Facebook page.)
Ranch Solutions was hired to catch the cows and return them to Cedar Island, using tranquilizer darts, the company posted on Facebook.
Cape Lookout National Seashore officials cited the cows’ trek across the Core Sound as an example of how wild animals find their way to the state’s barrier islands.