Cows injure two women in Graubünden Alps
Two accidents in the Swiss Alps over the weekend serve as a reminder to be careful when hiking through fields with cows — particularly when they’re with their calves.
On Sunday, a family of tourists were hiking above Davos in the Strelapass in the canton of Graubünden when they encountered cattle.
The walked around in a “wide arc” to avoid a cow with its calf but ended up being attacked by other cows in the herd, cantonal police said on Monday in a news release.
A woman was knocked to the ground and received minor injuries, which were checked at the Davos hospital, police said.
The incident came a day after a 45-year-old woman was seriously injured by a cow in a meadow (Alp Burden) in La Punt-Chamues-ch.
The woman was driving a herd of cows through the pasture with a farmer when one of the animals, protecting its calf, attacked the woman and knocked her to the ground, cantonal police said.
The woman suffered serious back injuries, police said.
She was taken by a Rega emergency rescue helicopter to a hospital in Samedan before being transferred to the Graubünden cantonal hospital in Chur.
Attacks by cattle are the exception rather than the rule but incidents are regularly reported in the Swiss Alps, particularly in areas where hiking trails pass through pasture land.
In Switzerland cows in mountain areas typically wander freely in Alpine meadows during the summer and early autumn.
The tourist website MySwissAlps.com recommends that people walking in the Alps should pass cows quietly and avoid getting too close to them.
“Cows, in particular when accompanied with calves, may act aggressively when disturbed,” the site advises.