Three cows swept away from North Carolina's Cedar Island by Hurricane Dorian in early September were presumed dead, along with dozens of wild horses. But they had actually built new lives as castaways in the Outer Banks, the BBC reports. Authorities believe that after they were swept away by a wall of water likened to a "mini-tsunami," they swam up to 5 miles to reach Cape Lookout National Seashore park. The cows were part of a herd that roamed private land on Cedar Island, reports the Charlotte Observer. National Park Service officials say they have set a 30-day deadline for somebody to submit a plan to remove the cows from federal land. They may have to be sedated and returned to Cedar Island by boat.
Authorities say the first cow was spotted on the group of narrow barrier islands the day after the hurricane and two yearlings were spotted a few weeks later. "It's a tremendous story of how they made it," park spokesman BG Horvat tells the New York Times. "If the cows could talk, imagine the story they can tell you of enduring that rush of water," he says. "That must be incredible." The herd's caretaker has confirmed that they are from Cedar Island. "Ever since they found each other, they have been hanging out together," Horvat says. "They are just grazing on the North Core Island." (Read more Hurricane Dorian stories.)