Gumboot skiing and cow lassoing on Valentines Day

A distressed cow was rescued from the upper Kaituna River on Valentine's Day. Photo: BOP Regional Council Facebook page

The survey team at Bay of Plenty Regional Council had a Valentine’s Day date to remember on Friday.

They also displayed some creative problem solving involving a lasso and a bit of gumboot skiing.

According to their Facebook page, it all started with the survey team discovering a Jersey cow bogged down in the upper Kaituna River.

They report that they lassoed the distressed cow and towed her 200m downstream by boat - in reverse.

They then manoeuvred the cow around the jetty to the boat ramp, and got her back on solid ground.

However the adventure wasn’t over.

“Once they got her to land, she had a surge of energy and took off through the kiwifruit orchard with the tow rope still attached and one of our team still attached to the rope - gumboot skiing,” writes a Council spokesperson.

“You’ll be glad to know it all ended with the cow happily feeding in the orchard, the tow rope retrieved and the rescue team safe and sound.”

The merry adventure, once posted to Facebook, engendered some fun replies.

“It’s the good news story we all need right now," comments the administrators of the Mount Maunganui Facebook page.

“What a great feel good Friday story......well done to all that participated,” writes Lilian Ward.

Piripi Roxx injected some realism with “Boy, what a great story she'll be able to tell her calf if it’s not sent to the Affco works just down the road…”

Responders to the Council’s post on Facebook couldn’t resist making a few puns including Geoff Reid with “Very mooving story, glad it ended well, udderwise would have been a sad ending.”

The questions still remain - how did the cow end up in the river? Some speculate it was fence jumping or maybe thirsty.

Also what do the Bay of Plenty Council team survey? There are many wetlands and important ecosystems in the Bay of Plenty region, with fresh water, wallabies, birds, waterways and estuaries just some of the areas that are monitored and checked.

On Wednesday, February 12, Tangata whenua, Maketū schoolchildren, and other locals gathered together with contracting staff, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council representatives, to celebrate the return of freshwater flows from the Kaituna River into Te Awa o Ngātoroirangi/Maketu Estuary. More about that project can be read here

Thanks to Bay of Plenty Regional Council staff for Friday's ultimate display of ‘cow-operation’.  It certainly seems like the best-ever team-building exercise, and the good news story we all need right now!

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