Animal escapades on the Alpine pastures
All the same, some regulations need to be observed on the Alpine pastures. This is because in summer, the grazing animals – cattle, mother cows and their calves, sheep, goats – are also on ‘holiday’, enjoying the Alpine pastures with their fresh grass and freedom to roam. Mutual consideration allows everyone to get along peacefully. Many people are unfamiliar with how grazing animals behave, and often don’t know how they should conduct themselves with the animal.
Here are a few trips for hikers
- Pay close attention to signs and instructions from the people responsible for the animals.
- Keep to the marked paths when walking through the meadows.
- Keep dogs on a lead.
- Avoid paths that cut through grazing pastures.
- Mother cows become anxious about their young when they sense that a dog is nearby. They can sometimes attack the dog if they feel that their young are threatened. In an emergency: let go of the dog’s lead!
- Don’t scare the animals – cattle hate loud, high-pitched noises.
- Horned animals can cause serious injury.
- If you are approached by a single animal, stay calm! Do NOT turn your back to the animal and slowly walk backwards away from it.
- As soon as you encounter a herd, look for suitable escape routes.
- A sturdy hiking stick is a big help on walks, but never wave it around as this will antagonise the animals. In an absolute emergency, a targeted hit on the nose should gain the respect of the animal.
- Bulls are especially dangerous! Therefore, you should never go through the middle of the herd, you should walk around a herd from a safe distance, as discreetly as possible.
- Pay attention to any threatening gestures from the animals, such as: lowering of the head, stamping back and forth, bellowing. Do not stroke or feed any baby animals, as getting close to the animals will trigger the mother’s protective instincts. Do not open any fences, use the stiles or other thoroughfares, and always close gates behind you.