The animals belonged to a herd from the village of Cedar Island. Various wild animals, including the cows, were swept away after the hurricane produced a small tsunami on the island.
The cows were presumed dead until they were seen alive at the Cape Lookout National Seashore park on the Outer Banks.
Per the Guardian, the trio of bovines were grazing on the island when the storm hit on Sept. 6. It generated a 2.5-metre tsunami, sweeping away 28 wild horses and 17 cows from the island’s herd.
It’s estimated that they must’ve swum for a few kilometres before reaching land.
“I’ll say it’s about four miles across Core Sound,” Cape Lookout park chief BG Horvat told McClatchy news service. “Remember, the cows and all the horses were swept away with the water surging back. Who knows exactly, but the cows certainly have a gripping story to share.”
Local photographer Rhonda Looper Hunter shared an image of the three island “sea cows” in 2017.
While it’s incredible that the animals were found alive and well, it wasn’t such a happy ending for others affected by the storm.
“All I can say is that we are all heartbroken over the loss of the feral, sea cows and wild horses of Cedar Island,” Hunter, of Rhonda Hunter Photography, told Global News.
Rescue efforts are currently underway to help return the cows to their rightful home.
As the state continues to recover from the devastating hurricane, other animals have been rescued, too.
One lucky pup was rescued in the Bahamas after being trapped under an air conditioner in Marsh Harbour for weeks.
The dog, aptly named Miracle, spent time getting well at Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Florida before being adopted by his forever family.
“Seeing this poor little darling dog just trapped underneath there and thinking about how hard he fought to stay alive,” the organization’s founder, Lauree Simmons, told Today.
“We had Miracle in our arms within two hours of him being rescued.”