A COW escaped from a ferry and plunged into Aberdeen Harbour today sparking a rescue operation which ultimately ended in the animal being shot dead.
The animal broke free as it was loaded at around 8.30am and ended up swimming across the main shipping channel, distrupting operations for much of the morning.
Crews from the onshore lifeboat and the harbour boat coaxed the animal from the water but it could not be captured.
The cow moved to a spot near the historic Roundhouse, a former navigation centre on the city’s Pocra Quay converted into offices.
A Coastguard spokesman said: “It got onto land but it kept going back into the water.”
A vet was called after the cow refused to move but the decision was ultimately taken to put the animal down at around 1pm.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We assisted with the recovery of the animal which unfortunately had to be humanely destroyed on the advice of a vet.
“Destruction of the animal was the last resort. Public safety and animal welfare were considered after all other efforts to restrain the animal were unsuccessful.”