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Hit-and-run driver collides with six cows

A drunken hit-and-run motorist swerved off the road and drove into six cows before fleeing the accident scene in a rural area of the canton of Vaud near Montreux over the weekend.

Hit-and-run driver collides with six cows
File image of cows on lush pastures near Le Lieu in Vallee de Joux, Vaud Jura (Photo: ST/swiss-image.ch/Christof Sonderegger).

Two cows were instantly killed and another two had to be put down because of severe injuries, police said.

A decision will be made on Monday whether to destroy one of the two other cows, which suffered pelvis injuries.

The motorist, a Swiss man in his 30s, was later arrested at his nearby home after Vaud Riviera police tracked him down, according to press reports.

A licence plate came loose from the vehicle in the accident, which occurred early on Saturday morning on the road between Saint Légier and Châtel Saint Denis, a town in the canton of Fribourg.

The vehicle lurched from one side of the road to the other before ripping out a fence and careering across a field into the cows.

The vehicle then struck a water tank before the motorist steered it back onto the road.

“What revolts me is that this person fled while leaving the cows in agony,” farmer Patrick Kohli, one of the owners of the cows, told 24heures.

“One of them had broken legs and an open fracture.”

The motorist, who was driving without a licence and third-party insurance, was taken to Montreux hospital for treatment of back, shoulder and facial injuries, Le Matin reported.

He was also subjected to a blood-alcohol test, the newspaper said.

The local prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into the case.

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COWS

Swiss cows miss out again on crown of ‘Queen of Mont Blanc’ in annual duel

An Italian cow beat off competition from 47 other competing animals from Switzerland, Italy and France to claim this year's crown at the 6th edition of the tournament, which means the wait continues for a Valais-born winner.

Swiss cows miss out again on crown of 'Queen of Mont Blanc' in annual duel
Two Herens breed cows fight during the 2015 edition in Aproz, Western Switzerland. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP.

The International Games of Queens of Mont Blanc takes place every year in either France, Italy or Switzerland at the feet of Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc. This year's edition, the 6th, was held in the French border town of Chamonix.

The unique event dates back thousands of years and celebrates the mountain heritage of the local population. The cows fight fierce battles with their horns, but according to the organizers, there are rarely casualties.

Forty eight belligerent Herens breed cows, named after the Val d'Hérens region of Switzerland, did battle on September 23rd and 24th before packed crowds to contest for the title of 'queen of Mont Blanc.' 

The Herens are endowed with “a unique combativeness,” according to Espace Mont Blanc, a regional website co-administered by Swiss, French and Italian regional governments. 

Each year the animals are led to alpine pastures, where the cows then test their strength and fight for the herd's leadership. The competition ends when a new queen has forced all the other cows to retreat.

Cows from the Swiss canton of Valais were left disappointed again this year in their duels against their counterparts from the Aosta Valley in Italy and cows from France.

Three Valaisian cows made it to the final, reports local daily Le Nouvelliste, although it was Gildo Bonin's Italian Valdostan cow that prevailed in the end. 

The three-nations tournament takes place each year, with each country taking it in turns to host. Last year the tournament was held in Italy; next year it will return to the Swiss canton of Valais. A Valaisian cow is yet to win. 

READ MORE: All you need to know about Switzerland's strangest sports