A group of mountain bikers in New Zealand is being blamed for the death of three pregnant cows after spooking the animals along a narrow gravel road. According to this Otago Daily Times story, nine pregnant cows fell off a cliff while running away from the bikers; six of the cows ended up in the water and were alive after being rescued by boat.
Chris Arbuckle, president of Mountain Bike New Zealand, had this to say on the group’s Facebook page:
We owe it to ourselves to make sure we understand the environment we are riding to, possible risks and actions we need to take that ensure we ride with a conscience and common sense.
Reporting from the incident suggests the riders ignored signs saying the road was closed, and the landowners are now looking to further restrict bike access in the area.
As Arbuckle suggested in his Facebook post, this situation should serve as a lesson and reminder for all riders to exercise caution around both wild and domesticated animals on the trail. IMBA even has a section of their Rules for the Trail that addresses cattle specifically, saying “When it comes to wildlife, live and let live. In some places, running cattle and disturbing wildlife are serious offenses.”