Willow Award Nomination!

Dan Bar-el

I’m thrilled to announce that Audrey (cow) has been nominated for a 2016 Willow Award, in the Diamond Willow (grade 4-6 fiction) category.willowawards logo framed

This is a reader’s choice award for the province of Saskatchewan, where I have toured many times and thoroughly enjoyed the schools I’ve visited.

Learn more about the awards here:

2016 Willow Award Nominees

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Video Wednesdays: A Mandrill’s Unplanned Escape

The last two videos showed deliberate effort by animals to remove themselves from captivity. In this video, it seems as if circumstance led the mandrill to a point where the possibility of escape was suddenly just there. So she/he took it. What’s more interesting is watching all the other surprised mandrills who have witnessed this unexpected act of defiance.

Who is Yvonne of Bavaria?



In Audrey (cow), there is mention of another cow referred to as “Yvonne of Bavaria”. This cow does exist in real life and her exploits, remarkable as they may seem, are true.

Yvonne was born in 2005 and was originally a dairy cow on a farm in a valley in the Austrian Alps. In 2011, she was sold to a farmer in upper Bavaria who intended to fatten Yvonne up in order to send her to be slaughtered. However, on May 24th, 2011, this brown-white cow escaped from a grazing field that was surrounded by electric fencing and hid in the woods. By one account, she smashed through the electric fence.

Despite using infrared cameras, a helicopter, a 10,000 euro bounty and a very handsome ox named Ernst to entice her, all attempts to capture her failed. In the meantime, here fame grew and grew. When an order was given to have her shot dead on sight, protests were strong enough to have it quashed. All hunters were told to leave the forest except for one, armed only with tranquillizers.

Yvonne was finally caught in September, but she was taken to the Gut Aiderbichl animal sanctuary where she lives still (as of last January as far as I know), with her two sons.

Want to learn more? Check out these articles:

Happy Ending for Yvonne

Yvonne the Runaway Cow


Video Wednesdays: Sharing lunch with a polite pig

Wednesdays can be tough, stuck in the middle of the week as they are. So what better day to show an animal video!

I certainly could not imagine Buster being satisfied with a few bites of salad, but this little pig shows much more calm and patience than some cats I’ve known. Just click on the line below.

Polite pig waiting for a bit of salad

If you come across an animal video that you’d like to share, then drop me a line on the CONTACT page.