One unlucky cow catches current to be moo-rooned on her own private island
A cow called Friday is believed to have been carried out by floodwaters to an island 1.5km offshore.
Gordon Hall is convinced a cow that turned up on Karamuramu Island in the Firth of Thames this week was washed over by a strong current generated by the Tasman tempest, a storm that has pummeled the North Island.
Hall works at the McCallum Bros quarry on the island, colloquially known as Red Rock Island. He believes it may have been there since Wednesday
On Friday, two days after the area had been hard hit by torrential rain, Hall and his workmates arrived to find unusual footprints in the sand.
* Live: Tasman Tempest returns
* Army called in to Coromandel to help festivalgoers
* Brave polo pony stands its ground
* What happened to Kaikoura's quake cows?
"We got to work on Friday and we've seen footprints on our sandspit where we land," he said.
Gordon's colleague Jimmy didn't believe Hall when he announced "they're cow prints".
"I go 'yeah mate, they're cow prints'.
"So I get up to our workshop and the cow was there. And it took off. We go 'what?' We couldn't believe our eyeballs, mate.
"I rung my boss and I said 'listen mate, you wouldn't believe it, there's a cow on here' and he goes 'what?'
"Nobody could believe it. We're so far from the mainland. Well, a cow especially you know. You can imagine a platypus or something.
"It's just astounding."
He said she doesn't appear to be injured and is very alert.
Quarry workers take a boat to make the journey to the island, approximately a 3km round-trip.
While Friday's gender hasn't been established, the workmates have decided she's a she.
"We went up to give her some water. She looked around and goes 'hhhmmmm, humans' or something like that, you know I don't know what she thought," Hall said.
"And then she put her head down and my mate Jimmy goes 'run, run' so we took off.
"We went back up again a couple of hours later and she's sitting down, chewing her cud. My mate reckons she's a heifer.
"On Monday we're going to take a bale of hay over for her because there's not that much grass. We're a quarry."
While Hall said Friday is a bit cranky and doesn't appear to like him very much, he'd be happy to keep her as an island pet.
"When we get amazing guests like that... it's amazing."
However Hall fears it's more likely Friday will end up as steaks.
"Because she's not going to hop on that boat is she?"
Not all of the stock in the area have been so lucky.
One local earthmover said he's buried more than 20 cows this week and he's heard of some farmers loosing hundreds of sheep.
"A lot we can't get to and a lot have just disappeared."
This isn't the first time the humble cow has got into trouble. After the Kaikoura quakes in November last year, several cows ended up stranded when the land around them gave way.
They were eventually saved and were reunited with solid ground several days after the quake, though captured hearts around the world in the meantime.