A man has been brutally savaged by a herd of cows in south Auckland, tearing out chunks of flesh and leaving him with gaping wounds.
A witness to the attack, Mike Small, told NZME he saw a woman on the ground being attacked by several cows, when a man ran in to help her.
"And then the cows knocked him to the ground and trampled him.
"There were front feet off the ground raining down on him. They were head down and if they had horns they would have been goring him,” Mr Small says.
The attack left the victim "smashed up" and suffering horrific injuries, Mr Small says.
There's no nice way to put it: He got f**ked up.
Animal behaviour expert Lori Marino told RadioLIVE’s Wendyl Nissen that cows aren’t typically an aggressive animal.
“And when they do act like that it’s usually for a pretty good reason.
“They are large and capable of hurting you if you get in between them,” Ms Marino says. “But that is very different than wanting to hurt you or generally being aggressive, and looking for a reason to attack you.”
She says it’s “very rare” for a cow to actively try to hurt someone.
“The reason that these cows, in this report, were aggressive is because they were protecting the yearling that was with them,” Ms Marino told RadioLIVE.
“When they have youngsters with them they’re often going to be very, very protective of them, and if they feel that somebody is coming too close then they’re going to give warning signs.
“Typically when they give warning signs, you should get out of the way. But if you don’t, they’ll probably take that to the next level.”
Ms Marino says that “next level” includes signs of foot stomping and pushing.
The original victim called St John to send an ambulance - but they reportedly refused to come until the cows were gone.
A St John spokesperson says a patient with moderate injuries was taken to Middlemore Hospital.
Listen to the full interview with Lori Marino above.
The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.