After Months of Searching, Rescuers catches the cow Eluding Them, only to find, she’s Hiding a Surprise

A remarkable Long Island homeowner established a home for herself in the woods around a local golf course for four months. Neighbors referred to her as Vienna; some had seen her, but most only knew her from legend.

Vienna, who had fled from a neighboring butcher, had something to hide. When she was ultimately apprehended, rescuers couldn’t believe it – there was more to this enigmatic cow’s story than they’d known.


When Strong Island Animal Rescue League team members Frankie Floridia and Eddie Stepinski learned about Vienna in late August 2022, they immediately made arrangements to have the cow handed over to them upon capture. Floridia and Stepinski were determined that Vienna, who had already been through so much, found refuge.


Skylands Animal Sanctuary & Rescue’s Mike Stura brought his corral, which he assisted Floridia and Stepinski in erecting near one of the holes. The course’s staff was anxious for the rescuers to catch their surprise guest as soon as possible and offered them complete authority to do so.

“We obtained complete clearance to utilize their land,” Florida said in an interview. It reminded me of a scene from ‘Ghostbusters.’ Remember when they told you it was on the 13th floor? ‘Please do whatever you have to do, just get it,’ they said.

The team installed motion-sensor cameras across the golf course. When Vienna got close, they’d immediately see her on their phones. They saw in black and white the sweet cow staring directly at them, so near to the corral but refusing to go inside.


Floridia and Stepinski understood they’d have to work even harder to acquire Vienna’s trust after an early botched capture in which she got out of the corral. They began to plan various stakeouts and capture attempts with Stura’s assistance.

Stepinski went to the area near the corral every day, including on Thanksgiving and his birthday, and tossed food into the woods. When he arrived, he made a point of calling the cow. He wanted Vienna to know that he had no ill will against her. He wanted her to begin to recognize his voice.

“I’d say, ‘Come on, lovely girl, where have you gone?'” Stepinski explained. “I’d say the same thing: ‘Where are you, nice girl? ‘Please come fetch your meal.'”

Vienna eventually grew braver. Stepinski would occasionally notice her large eyes in the woods, peering out from behind a tree. Vienna was once so near that she astonished him.

Stepinsky goes on to explain: “I didn’t realize she was right there. She was expecting me.”

Floridia and Stepinski knew the day of her arrest was approaching as the months passed and Vienna grew more trustworthy. Stura had previously planned for her to live in Skylands. Vienna just only to walk a few steps inside the corral to reach safety.

They’d also noted that Vienna was growing in size. They were relieved — presumably it was because she’d been eating so well, they reasoned.

Vienna finally entered the corral. Floridia, Stepinski, and Stura all worked together on December 11, 2022, four months after the clever cow first arrived, and the rescue went ahead without a hitch.

“The stars aligned, and her capture went wonderfully,” Floridia stated on Facebook.

Here’s a video of Vienna’s capture from Strong Island:

Floridia and Stepinski received devastating news soon after Vienna landed at Skylands.

It was no surprise Vienna had spent months ensuring she’d be safe – the elusive cow had been pregnant the entire time. Her kid was born only a week after she was apprehended.

Floridia, Stepinski, and Stura hadn’t just saved one cow, but two.

Vienna, now known as Lilith, spends her days in Skylands with her calf, Liam, luxuriating in the lush green meadows they’ll call home for the rest of their life. It may have taken months, but Floridia, Stepinski, and Stura’s efforts were more than worthwhile in the end.


Floridia posted on Facebook, “She didn’t make it easy, but her rescue was well worth it.”