Runaway cow 'rugby tackled' in Western Australia

Cow at a coastal park Image copyright Kasey Winstone/Facebook
Image caption After an ocean swim, the errant bovine bolted through the Perth suburbs

A cow on the loose for more than 24 hours since escaping from a cattle ship at Western Australia's busiest cargo port has been recaptured by rangers.

The animal absconded while being loaded at Fremantle Harbour, jumped into the water and swam to shore.

Several eyewitnesses spotted the animal roaming coastal parks and, apparently, enjoying a beachside sunset.

The cow was eventually caught on the railway 7km (four miles) away in the western suburbs of Perth on Monday.

Josh Gammon-Carson, from Fremantle Sea Rescue, was called out after the cow was spotted in the water.

"We used our jet ski to safely try and assist it and guide it back to the nearest beach, where it could actually get out of the water safely, which it did," he told the BBC.

"Unfortunately the area wasn't properly contained and the cow escaped from there and ran off into land."

Image copyright Fremantle Sea Rescue
Image caption Fremantle Sea Rescue answered the call when they heard a cow was in the water

Despite a number of sightings on Sunday afternoon, the cow managed to elude council rangers.

One woman claimed on social media that she spotted the animal running around the coastal park, while another woman photographed the beast at the beach as the sun set.

The local council confirmed that the animal was captured on a railway line in the Perth's western suburbs.

"The freight line operator has stopped the trains," a city spokeswoman said in a statement.

"Owners the Wellard Group, vets and rangers are on the site."

Image copyright Twitter/@BeauPearson

Ten News reporter Beau Pearson who was at the scene told Radio 6PR it took a significant effort before the cow was loaded back on to a truck.

"It was a bit of a standoff for a few hours here in the sun," he said.

"It took about five blokes to rugby tackle him down on the railway track."

Australia's annual live-cattle exports - sent to countries including Indonesia, Vietnam and China - are valued at A$1.4 billion (£850m, $1bn).

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