Floods from the storm washed herds of cattle and horses to sea in September

cows on the Outer Banks
Credit: Rhonda Hunter Photography

A hurricane’s severe flooding couldn’t stop these cows from coming home.

When Hurricane Dorian made its way up from the Bahamas and towards America’s east coast in September, it brought with it high winds and rapid rainfall. The Category 1 conditions caused flooding among affected areas, including North Carolina, where unsuspecting livestock were swept away into the ocean.

Of the animals displaced by the storm, three cows were recently discovered on the beaches of Cape Lookout National Seashore park on the state’s Outer Banks, according to The New York Times. The four-legged survivors are thought to be from farmlands on Cedar Island, and likely swam an estimated two miles back to shore.

“It’s a tremendous story of how they made it,” B.G. Horvat, a Cape Lookout park spokesperson, told the NYT on Wednesday. “If the cows could talk, imagine the story they can tell you of enduring that rush of water … that must be incredible.”

cows on the Outer Banks
| Credit: Rhonda Hunter Photography

The first of the returned cows showed up about a month after the hurricane, as the other two trickled over the past two weeks, reports the Charlotte Observer. According to the local outlet, 28 wild horses died after being caught in the storm’s waves and taken into the Atlantic ocean.

Waters that took the animals out to sea are believed to have been nine feet deep, according to Horvat, who says the cows have been inseparable since being rescued.

“Ever since they found each other, they have been hanging out together,” he said. “They are just grazing on the North Core Island.”

After park officials identify the proper owner of the cattle, they plan to complete the animals’ journey back home, transporting the survivors either by boat or trailer.

American Humane was among the many groups offering aid to those affected by Hurricane Dorian, primarily the animals left behind in the aftermath. The organization removed cats and kittens from Dorian’s path of destruction and transported them more than 700 miles to safe havens in New York and New Jersey.