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Survivalist Cow Gets Second Life For Christmas

A young cow that survived nine months alone in a Metro Vancouver park has a new home just in time for Christmas.

The cow, named Lady Antebellum, is spending the holidays in B.C.'s Interior after spending much of 2011 homeless in the Fraser Heights neighbourhood of Surrey, B.C.

Peter Hamilton, a local animal rescuer, managed to coax Lady Antebellum out of Surrey Bend Regional Park and into a corral this week.

On Wednesday, the black angus cow was in a trailer and headed to an animal sanctuary in Summerland.

Hamilton is still puzzled about how the cow managed to wander into the area, and he said it's a miracle that the cow survived so long on its own.

"She's quite a survivor. She did quite well defending herself," Hamilton said.

"[There were] threats from coyotes, vicious dogs. On one occasion, two dogs chased her into the Fraser River."

Authorities first became aware of the cow-gone-wild in March, when police received calls about a cow that had wandered onto the Trans-Canada Highway in Langley, B.C.

Hamilton said the cow did a good job of foraging for food in the park, and was helped out by park visitors who called the cow "Nellie" or "April" and began feeding the heifer oats and hay this fall.

One of them called Hamilton's animal rescue organization and, with help from the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team, he was able to get the cow fenced in while it was eating.

Theresa Nolet, a director of Critteraid, said Lady Antebellum is now spending Christmas at her organization's farm animal sanctuary.

"She's doing great. I'm sure she's happy to have water and constant food and to have a feeling of constant security after all those months on her own," Nolet said.

"She's making friends with Skippy, our donkey, and an Alpaca: Ricky."

Nolet said the rescue group is looking for a permanent home for Lady Anttebellum, somewhere in the countryside.

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