Poignant Thought: The Wild Cows on the Island of Swona

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In the mid-20th Century, on the remote island of Swona in Scotland, the Rosie family kept animals including a herd of cows. As the decades wore on, their children moved away and the elderly stalwarts of the family stayed on and eventually died there. Moving of the cattle from the island would have been too difficult. So when the final person on Swona died in 1974, the cows were allowed to roam free.

Forty six years have passed and the nature of the cattle has been changing. From unobserved domesticate to something else, something more – feral. Something increasingly wild.

Attempts to make an animal round up were abandoned and the animals were left to live as they wished. Roaming through the grassy sward and finding shelter amongst the increasingly broken down ruins.

There was always the expectation that they would die out over the harsh winter – it never…

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