Earthquake: More cows stranded on an outcrop of land after three saved
Two more cows have been spotted stranded on an outcrop of land near Kaikoura, only hours after a group of three cows that captured the nation's attention were rescued.
A Fairfax photographer captured the image of two cows looking up on a small piece of grassy land about 15km from the seaside town.
Federated Farmers general communications manager Leigh Catley said there is "no way of knowing" how much livestock were affected after Monday's 7.5 magnitude earthquake wiped out all surrounding land.
The landslides have left the cows stranded on small outcrops with sheer drops on all sides.
"We're not even sure how many farms we're dealing with yet," said Catley.
"It's predominantly a dry stock region with beef and sheep. There's some very, very big properties in that region so we're probably talking about a reasonable number of stock."
Earlier today a group of cows left stranded on an earthquake island were reportedly saved.
Rescuers dug a trench to free the cows from the small dirt peak where they were trapped, Newshub reported.
The cows caught the world's attention on Monday night with footage showing their peril – trapped on a quake island.
A chopper, flying over torn farmlands outside Kaikoura, captured the image of two cows and a calf huddled together on a small piece of grassy land. Monday's magnitude 7.5 earthquake had wiped out all surrounding pasture, leaving a sea of dirt around the cows' refuge.
The rescue effort had to be delayed because the team weren't sure if the ground below them was safe to travel across, Newshub said.
A farmer reportedly told the network that other cows had died because of the quakes.
Some calves, from the stranded cows' family, were believed to be dead. The mother cows were reportedly "a bit distressed".
The Ministry of Primary Industries was unable to confirm if the cows had been saved. Reports saying the cows had been rescued could not be verified, a spokeswoman said.
Under the national Civil Defence plan, MPI is responsible for animal welfare.
Despite the huge support for the cows, with social media demanding they be saved, police said they had to prioritise the wellbeing of people. Police were not involved with any cow rescue mission.
"The priority of the police is to make sure all human lives are safe and we still need to account for all of them yet," a police spokesperson said.
Wellington SPCA CEO Steve Glassey said on Tuesday morning that a specialist National rescue Unit would save the cows, if needed.
SPCA's National Rescue Unit is made up of staff and volunteers from Wellington SPCA. It has been operating for 20 years without failure.
However, Glassey cautioned that, although the unit would be aiming for a live outcome, the likely result would be humane euthanasia of the stranded cows.
"If anyone is able to do this rescue, it's the NRU. If they can't do it, no one can," Glassey said.
Social media and news stations throughout the world rallied behind the stranded cow family.
Australian television personality, Chris Brown (from the Bondi Vet) was a vocal supporter of the cows from the beginning.
Many others took the chance to make cow themed jokes.
I moove to pass a "no cow left behind" policy in the New Zealand quake rescue effort. Poor cows :( pic.twitter.com/TN778Cj2IX— Mitch Goldenberg (@MitchGoldylox) November 14, 2016