Herd of cows attacks jogger on Colorado trail

A small herd of cattle attacked a jogger running on a Boulder County trail on Tuesday morning, prompting a closure of the trailhead.

Another person on the trail saw the jogger trying to protect herself on the ground, surrounded by about 15 or 20 cattle, most of them mothers with their calves, and called 911.

Boulder County Parks and Open Space rangers responded within approximately 15 minutes, according to Erin Hartnett, one of the rangers who responded. The jogger was taken to the hospital, and her condition is unknown.

According to Hartnett, the cows were most likely trying to protect their calves and the jogger did nothing wrong.

“This time of year they’re just very protective of their calves,” Hartnett said.

The trailhead was reopened in the early afternoon, once the rancher who leases the field moved the herd to a fenced-in pasture south of the trail.

Although the herd had been in the field for a couple of weeks without incident, people have reported aggressive cattle in the area before.

The Meadowlark Trail falls within a cattle grazing area, and signs along the trail warn users of cattle, according to Vivienne Jannatpour, a spokesperson for Boulder County Parks and Open Space.

“We have had people feel threatened by the cattle before, which is one of the reasons we put the signs up,” Jannatpour said.

She said BCPOS has received reports before of aggressive cattle during this time of year, when the cows have their calves with them.

The herd won’t return to the field near the trail while the calves are young, according to Jannatpour.

Hartnett encouraged trail users to be careful this time of year by keeping dogs on leashes and keeping distance between themselves and wildlife.

“If they’re in your way – they’re not giving you ground – then back away and don’t continue on your hike,” she said.

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