Are Bulls and Cows In Greek Mountains Dangerous

Q. On walks in the Greek mountains I often encounter bulls or cows with horns. I am not sure if I should pass them. Is it best to bluff confidence or try to scare them off or abandon the walk?

James Quinn, London


A. Can't remember Greek cows, but come across a lot of cows, with bulls running with them, in the high grasslands of Cantal in the Massif Central in France. Mostly with horns.

My approach :- let them know you are about by talking from a distance, they'll look up and assess you. Give them a wide berth, and stay at the field edge if you can. Don't go through the centre of a group unless they are well spaced out.

Cows with calves are the most dangerous.

Watch for the signs. If the cow puts down its head, rolls its eyes, and starts pawing - it's thinking of coming for you. Back away in a non-threatening manner. Don't shout at it, or wave your arms about. They are bigger than you.

The Saler breed - big and brown - seem particularly aggressive. I'm less bothered about bulls with cows. In one field when I got to the other side and moved the cows out the way that were blocking the gate I needed to open, the last one was the bull. All the time talk quietly - I had to gently push the bull out the way. Looked bit disgruntled, but moved.

Keith Eyles, Stroud


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