Cow recovering after being pulled out of Blackjack Creek

A cow pulled out of a near-frozen Blackjack Creek Thursday morning is on her feet and recovering, said owner Joe Keehn.

“She’s up and eating hay,” said Keehn, who was relieved that the 9-year-old cow would be fine and able to take care of her calf, which was born last month. “It’s good news, because we usually don't wean (the calves) until they’re six or eight months old.”

The cow was discovered in the creek by John Wherry and Scott Driver, who were part of group repairing a fence on Lider Road.

“We heard quite a commotion coming from the culvert, and here she comes running out,” said Wherry, of Environmental Systems, explaining that the group is also returning nearby land to wetlands.

The group first tried coaxing the cow out of the water with a stick, “but she was too weak to get out by then,” said Driver.

Wherry then called 911, and members of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and South Kitsap Fire and Rescue responded. Using a tractor and rope tied around the cows legs and neck, the group was able to pull her out of the water, then cover her with a tarp to warm her up.

The group then tried to help her stand up, but Kitsap County Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Hanson said she was just too weak.

“If she was a person, we’d put her in the ambulance to warm her up,” Hanson said.

Kelly Hocog, who takes care of the cow for Keehn, waited with the animal while others brought blankets from Keehn’s farm on Woods Road.

Keehn, who owns Farmer George on Bethel Road, was driving back from Centralia Thursday. He said he rents the pasture on Lider Road from Anita Maguire, and was planning on moving the cow soon to a farm in Burley.

It is not know how long the cow was in the creek, or why she ended up there. Maguire guessed that she had gone down to the creek for water, since the water near the barn was frozen.

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