Aussie cow swims 70km through floodwaters to give birth

An Australian cow has given birth after being washed away by floods earlier in the year.
An Australian cow has given birth after being washed away by floods earlier in the year. Photo credit: iStock

A cow that survived the floodwaters of Cyclone Debbie and endured a three-day, 70-kilometre swim, has now given birth.

Debbie, the lucky cow is now happily back with the rest of the herd, with her healthy male calf alongside on a farm in Gundurimba on New South Wales' north coast.

The young cow was one of the rare survivors of the hundreds of livestock that was washed away by the severe flooding.

Debbie emerged from the floodwaters 70 kilometres downstream at Pimlico in April, and was found by a livestock contractor that worked out she belonged to the Ivey family despite her electronic tag no longer working.

"Next thing this black hulk emerged from the riverbank and up onto the road, and then we realised it was a cow," John Stead said.

Debbie's owner Tony Ivey can't believe that his pregnant cow survived the journey, let alone was able to give birth to a healthy calf.

"It's still surprising, it's a long time and a long way. It's actually more than 70 kilometres."

Debbie's pregnancy has been closely watched by Mr Ivey.

"I was waiting, she was springing up, and I knew she was going to calve, I just kept an eye on her and she had no trouble

Mr Stead is glad Debbie is healthy three months later.

"To hear she has given birth  it is good closure."

"It is nice to hear some good news after all the despair from the floods."

Debbie was one the 20 cows Mr Ivey was able to get back after he lost 30 during the floods, he also lost 16 vealers but was able to get two of them back as well.

"I spend a lot of time with my cattle. It's good to have as many as I got back, it could have been worse."

"It was a hard time, but a lot of people in Lismore have had a hard time and are still having a hard time. I think I've got out of it pretty light compared to some people."

Mr Ivey claims Debbie is definitely not just any ordinary cow.

"People say 'Ah you're famous Tone'. I say it's not me, it's the cow!"

"She's a good breeder and she'll live her life out here, I reckon."