Beaches Forced to Close After Multiple Cow Attacks Leave People Injured

Certain beaches on the French island of Corsica were recently closed after multiple cow attacks left people injured. Though cows are typically thought of as friendly creatures, reports said the island's cow population has become a problem over the last several years.

According to the New York Post, the island's 15,000 cows have grown accustomed to being the sole inhabitants of Corsica's beaches, hills and village roads during the coronavirus lockdowns. As a result, some of the cows have become rather aggressive toward locals and tourists as they leave their homes and return to the sunshine.

The Times of London reported a herd was seen chasing a group of people last week in Sainte-Lucie-de-Tallano, a village between Propriano and Porto-Vecchio. Earlier this month, a tourist in his 50's was attacked by a herd after a failed attempt to occupy a spot on the beach at Lotu. He was rushed to the hospital to receive treatment for the injuries sustained to his neck.

Last month, an unnamed Lozzi villager, 70, was flown to the hospital with a leg wound after being attacked whilst hanging her laundry.

François Acquaviva, the mayor of Lozzi, told a local paper he and his colleagues were "frustrated by the authorities' failure to control the problem," stated The Times.

To reduce attacks, authorities closed several beaches near the Bay of Ajaccio. Cows there were reportedly "eating plantations, denting cars and overturning rubbish bins," as well as wandering into roads and destroying fencing when they weren't pursuing people.

"Tourists laugh at this as folklore and take pictures, but it's a real pest," a local councilor said according to The Times.

But the island's problems with cows predates the pandemic.

In 2017, French outlet The Local reported the island's cow population regularly caused car accidents, some of which were fatal. That same year, a beachgoer made headlines for being "gored in the face" by a cow as she attempted to take a photo with one.

To prevent further attacks, authorities employed veterinarians and hunters to put down about a dozen cows; however, euthanization was only a temporary solution to an ongoing problem.

"I've been working on this problem for 15 years and I feel like I'm hitting a brick wall," Joselyne Mattei-Fazi, president of the Corsican mayors association, told The Local. She added that roaming cows are a "Corsican specialty."

The BBC compiled a list of safety tips last year regarding cattle. The broadcasting corporation warned that people should keep a safe distance from cattle, and move "quickly and quietly" around herds. If an individual finds a cow is following them, the BBC said not to run; instead, "walk on quietly."

An animal rescue official from the Pyrenees told The Times: "When you see that they [cows] are heading in a particular direction, it is best to give them priority."

Corsican cows
Corsica's 15,000 cows have grown accustomed to being the sole inhabitants of the island's beaches. A sign reads "Attention, wild animals, danger, stay away" near cows on the Mare e Sol beach in Coti-Chiavari, on the French Mediterranean island of Corsica. PASCAL POCHARD-CASABIANCA / Stringer/Getty