BERLIN - The hunt is on in deepest Bavaria for a cow who escaped from a farm and who has been on the run for weeks after Germany's leading newspaper, Bild, put up a 10,000 euro ($14,000) reward for her capture.
Yvonne the cow took to the woods in late May in the vicinity of Zangberg and has evaded pursuers ever since.
Bild published the reward offer Saturday after local authorities told hunters they could shoot the cow on sight because she was a threat to traffic.
The decision was taken after the cow ran across a forest road in front of a police car.
Local authorities said however her shooting should be "a last resort".
"We only hope for the best for the cow," a spokeswoman for district authorities said, adding that she might yet safely be caught.
Since news of the reward was splashed on Bild's front page, hunters and locals have been out in numbers beating about the woods, and an Austrian animal sanctuary has offered to buy the cow if it can be taken alive.
The head of the Aiderbichl sanctuary, near Salzburg, Dieter Ehrengruber, even took to a helicopter on Monday in an attempt to track her down.
Earlier this month, a posse of hunters and vets on horseback managed to briefly flush her out from dense forest undergrowth but immediately lost her again in the night.
Locals have also brought in Yvonne's sister, Waltraut, and an alluring bull called Ernst in a bid to lure her out. And her son, Friesi, is also expected to take part in the dragnet, Bild said.
But local forester Toni Denk Tuesday said only dogs can do the job.
"Without dogs you won't get her out. Cows aren't like rabbits, they hide and remain quiet when a hunter is around," he told Bild which has headlined the story for days at the height of the so-called "Sommerloch", the summer "silly season", when the media more usually turn to hunting celebrities on the beach.
Image: pwever / via Flickr