Escaped cow causes mayhem after breaking into tennis court for more than 10 hours
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Members of Market Harborough Tennis Club in Leicestershire were met with a surprise when they arrived at their club last week, after being met with a special guest on the court. A cow had mysteriously entered the court, where it caused mayhem and caused visitors to scratch their heads in confusion.
The cow, a 10-month-old calf, had somehow managed to make its way onto the main court, accessible via a key-coded locked gate, where it was stuck for over 10 hours. It had even attempted to make its way into the clubhouse, which it luckily did not succeed in doing.
Several photos and videos show the heifer wandering around the tennis court, and after contacting the police, owner Vickie Gillespie, her dad, a group of local residents and the responding officers managed to return the calf unharmed to its field in Great Bowden.
Vickie said: “Lots of parents and children were gathering to take photos and see the new tennis enthusiast. But this did upset her slightly so after backing up the trailer as close to the courts as dad could, we cleared the area of spectators.
"With much needed help from some general public and a policeman we formed a human wall to get her out of the courts and into the trailer. The odd thing is that, as cows are herd animals, they don’t often wander off by themselves.
"It might just be a one-off and she might have been feeling brave. She was not hurt at all. She’s a very calm cow in general.
“Everyone was incredibly calm, quiet and patient which was the key to getting her in safely and preventing her running out onto the road. I am incredibly grateful to those that helped; things like this can go very wrong very quickly.
“We took her back to the farm to prevent her retracing her steps and this time taking the rest of the herd with her for a Wimbledon cow special. I’m still hoping the mystery is solved on how she got in there."
The chairman of the Great Bowden Parish Council, Adam Shepherd, was also on the scene aiding the tennis club eviction. Talking to Harborough FM, Shepherd said: "We actually thought it was an early April Fool’s joke.
"I went down and heard the cow before I saw it but lo and behold there was actually a cow stood in the middle of the tennis court. We have no idea how it got there or why it was there. It was just stood there mooing and walking round and seemed to be having the time of its life.
"We checked the fences and there was no obvious means of entry and nothing seemed to be broken. So unless the cow had the code to the gate we figure a member of the public must have let it in for some reason.
"The farmer came down with his daughter and there were a number of members of the public who helped coax the cow out safely into a trailer in the car park. The cow was absolutely fine and was returned back to its field."
While the situation was handled without too much damage, maintenance had a rather unpleasant cleaning job once the cow had been returned home. Harborough Tennis Club head coach, Phil Harris, told the BBC: "Obviously there was a mess, so that required our hard working and dedicated maintenance man to remove that. We’re just glad there’s a happy conclusion and everyone is OK."