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Great animal escapes


It's not just the events in Libya and the aftermath of the riots that Stylist has been paying attention to in the news of late - we've also been following the plight of Yvonne, a runwaway cow who has become a symbol for rebellion in her native Germany, with failed attempts to bring her back to the abattoir she escaped from including a handsome reward and even the drafting in of "the George Clooney of bulls".

However, Yvonne is not the first animal to make a quick getaway - after all, faced with imminent death or a lifetime of captivity, it's not surprising some creatures crack and make a break for freedom. From Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Pig (the Tamworth boars that became heroes for escaping slaughter in the UK) to the escape efforts of Bruno the orangutang, read on to discover the greatest ever animal escapes - many of which brought the beasts hero status...

Yvonne the runaway cow

Possibly the most sensational of runaway "celebimals," Yvonne the brown dairy cow has earnt something of a hero status in Germany since escaping into a Bavarian forest just hours before she was due to be slaughtered in May.

Despite a €10,000 reward offer from German tabloid Bild and the enlisted help of Ernst, "the George Clooney of bulls" to lure her back, Yvonne has yet to reappear and her rebel kudos grows by the hour.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Pig

In January 1998, two Tamworth rare breed boars made a bid for freedom while being unloaded at a slaughterhouse in Wiltshire. The pair's audacious escape across an icy river won the heart of the nation and they were quickly dubbed "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Pig."

Local residents reported their whereabouts six days later, but only after a national newspaper guaranteed to buy them and send them to an animal sanctuary. One of the pigs still managed to evade capture for a further 36 hours, in a dramatic stand-off with RSPCA officers.

Judy the fridge-raiding chimp

A 120-pound primate named Judy escaped from her enclosure to a nearby service area at Arkansas Zoo in 2007, after a cleaner left her door open. The 37-year-old chimp quickly made good of her liberation by raiding a nearby fridge for juice, soft drinks and tempting chimpy snacks.

She eventually accepted a strawberry yoghurt laced with sedative and was brought back in, having fallen asleep on top of the fridge halfway through a cinnamon-raisin loaf she had taken from the freezer.

Satara the randy rhino

Satara the two-tonne rhino created chaos at a zoo in South Australia in 2008, after smashing through the steel bars of his pen in search of female companionship. The lusty rhino eventually had to be shot with a tranquilizing dart to stop it from escaping outside the zoo.

"He's a teenager who can't control himself and in the grip of testosterone, he had to get out and try to sow his wild oats," explained the zoo's chief executive Chris West.

The bolting bull trio

Earlier this year, three rampaging bulls ran amok on a housing estate in Essex after escaping from a nearby abattoir. Police blocked off roads and warned residents to stay indoors as they struggled to contain the trio, who had already gored one bystander. Sadly, there was no happy ending for the bovine outlaws, as all three were eventually shot dead by armed officers.

Khenar the crocodile cuts loose

A courageous crocodile came away with only a broken tooth after it attempted to escape its home in a 12th floor Russian apartment - by jumping out of the window. Khenar made his bid for freedom in front of stunned neighbours in the Nizhny Novgorod region of central Russia in 2007. He was taken to a local aquarium to recover from the ordeal.

Pythons on the plane

A situation akin to a horror movie came about in 2009, after twelve non-venomous Stimson's pythons disappeared while being transported to Melbourne on a Qantas plane. Joe Aston, a Qantas spokesman, said the baby pythons were travelling in an "appropriate" container and it was unclear how they had escaped. Despite an extensive search and the cancellation of two flights, the elusive stowaways were never found.

Bruno the orangutan breaks free

3,000 visitors were forced to evacuate LA Zoo after Bruno the orangutan broke out of his compound in 2008. Bruno made his getaway by cunningly enlarging a tiny hole he spotted in his wire mesh fence. However, the 300-pound beast's escape was short-lived, as, after 20 minutes hanging loose in a secluded area, he was sedated and returned to his pen.

Molly the cow hoofs it in New York

In May 2009, a black angus cow named Molly was granted clemency from execution after escaping from a slaughterhouse in Queens, New York. Molly took NYPD cops on an hour-long goose chase round the back streets of the city before being cornered and tranquilized. However, her fugitive antics earnt the respect of hardened New Yorkers everywhere and she was rewarded with the quashing of her death sentence.



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