A runner has spoken of being left traumatised and bleeding after being attacked by a cow in the Pentlands, near Edinburgh. Mark Hartree, 53, was participating in a virtual triathlon when he accidentally came between a cow and her calf.
The angry animal knocked Hartree to the ground, before lying on top of him and thrashing her head against him. She retreated briefly, only to charge again and push him to the ground for a second time.
'I was lying on my back and partly on my side, trying to protect myself, and the cow was right on top of me. Its legs made me collapse, I couldn’t move my legs,' Hartree told the Edinburgh Evening News.
Hartree, who struggled to maintain consciousness during the incident, managed to frighten the cow away by punching her in the face.
He now realises that by ‘shooing’ the cow prior to the attack, he had accidentally signalled that he was trying to separate her from her calves. Hartree is from Edinburgh but grew up in Kent next to a dairy farm.
Runners and walkers are now being warned by sign to avoid the cows altogether.
'My message to everyone is don’t go anywhere near these cows,' said Hartree, who is president of Carnethy Hill Running Club.
City of Edinburgh Councillor Neil Gardiner, Convener of Pentland Hills Regional Park Joint Committee, released a statement following the incident, which took place on August 22:
'Our Natural Heritage Officers have been in touch with him directly about the incident and signs have been installed in the area reminding all visitors of safety precautions needed in the regional park.'
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