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WATCH: Rescuers hoist 1200-lb. cow from mineshaft

Posted at 2:15 PM, Jan 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-24 14:15:15-05

TUOLOMNE COUNTY, Calif. -- A 1200-pound cow was hoisted to safety Thursday after spending three days trapped at the bottom of a mineshaft in California.

Amazingly, Molly the cow did not break any bones when she fell 30-feet down the hole Monday.

Antoinette Key-Nichols, Molly's owner, told KOVR she thinks her cow went wandering in a pasture before she stumbled over some barbed wire and fell down the shaft.

Key-Nichols kept Molly nourished by feeding her crackers and bananas until animal control officers could plan the rescue.

"It was one of those harder rescues I've done," Dr. John Madigan, a veterinarian at UC Davis, explained.


That's because Molly had to be sedated before the veterinarians were lowered into the mineshaft.

The three-hour rescue then involved vets securing Molly with several ropes.

Once a tow truck began to hoist the animal out of the shaft, Molly woke up almost instantly. After a few tense moments, Molly was safely pulled out of the shaft.


“It’s just a good ending to something that could have been real, real tragic,” Key-Nichols said.