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With much of the world’s population being separated from the farming process these days, it’s easy for us to forget that the hamburger we just ate came from a living, breathing, thinking, and possibly even emotionally engaged cow.

Pictures and videos emerged in Hong Kong last week after a motorist struck a bull. While that is sad in itself, what gained media attention is that the rest of the bull’s herd gathered around to push him to safety and then mourn the tragedy. 

▼ The sad sight was made even more heart-wrenching when the herd came.


At 7:30 in the morning, a driver in Ma On Shan, in the New Territories of Hong Kong, hit a bull as it was crossing the road. The bull’s front right leg was broken and blood was spilling out of his mouth.

The driver pulled over and called the police, but first on the scene was the rest of the bull’s herd. At least five other cows came to the side of the injured bull, using their heads to try to push him off the road. When unsuccessful, they resigned to nuzzling and comforting their dying friend.

▼ The cows paid no mind to the stopped traffic or car horns.


A witness at the scene, told the South China Morning Post that “[The cows] wanted to help but it was no use. It’s tragic … They stayed at its side, encouraging it to move.”

▼ The police got the cows to move away from their friend.


Eventually the police came, dispersed the herd and removed the bull’s corpse, but the scene remains in the minds of those who have seen it, both in person and in the pictures and video. It’s a stark reminder that animals have the emotional capacity to care and mourn just like we do.

▼ A video of the mourning.

Source, images: Shanghaiist