A WHITBY man jumped into an icy river to escape an attack by a herd of cows.
The dog-walker stayed in the freezing waters of the River Dee in Chester for 30 minutes while the cattle tried to follow him. They were shot dead the next day.
The herd had surrounded and butted the 51-year-old man, who has not been identified, while he was on The Meadows in Handbridge, Chester, at dusk on Sunday, March 18.
Witness Sue McAdam said: 'He had his dogs on a lead and was walking on the footpath by the river when the cows pushed him towards the water's edge.
'They were very menacing. I had never seen anything like it before.'
While her son called the emergency services, cowhand Richard Lydon used sticks to move the cattle so the man could escape.
He was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital and treated for heavy bruising.
Adele Edwards, chairman of Friends of the Meadows, said the behaviour of the cattle was puzzling as the community regard them as pets and had named them Charlie, Creamy, Blackie II, Black-White, Gallie and Oddhorn.
The 15-year-old cows are understood to have belonged to farmer Mr Fishwick, of Barrow, but had been left to roam free.
County council spokesman Ian Callister said Mr Fishwick was offered the choice of relocating the cattle or having them destroyed.