Three cows are stranded on an island of grass in a paddock that had been ripped apart following an earthquake Monday near Kaikoura, New Zealand.
Three cows are stranded on an island of grass in a paddock that had been ripped apart following an earthquake Monday near Kaikoura, New Zealand. (Newshub via The Associated Press)

Escape from cow island: Stranded bovines rescued after quake

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Three New Zealand cows whose predicament captured the interest of people around the world after they became stranded on a small island of grass following a powerful earthquake have been rescued.

The Newshub news service reported Tuesday that the two cows and a calf were rescued after a farmer and some helpers dug a track to them and brought them out.

Newshub first filmed the cows stuck on the patch of grass near the township of Kaikoura after the magnitude 7.8 quake triggered landslides around them.

The farmer, who was not named by Newshub, said the cows were desperate for water after they were rescued. He said the quake fault line ran right beneath his farm, which had been relatively flat before the earthquake.

New Zealand's 10 million cattle easily outnumber its 4.7 million people.

Speedy shovels shine in grave-digging contest

TRENCIN, Slovakia — Ten teams from Slovakia, Poland and Hungary on Thursday turned mounds of ground in a competition to crown the fastest gravediggers in central Europe.

The Grave Digging Championships held in the Slovakian city of Trencin was meant to promote the funeral industry and bring some levity to a serious profession.

"This whole exhibition is about getting groups of funeral companies together," said event spokesman Christian Striz, who dressed as the Grim Reaper for the occasion. "It's all about showing people how hard" the gravedigger's job is.


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The contest graded the teams on speed and accuracy, as graves had to be dug to exact specifications: 5 feet deep, 6.5 feet long and 3 feet wide.

No modern tools were allowed, only shovels and picks, which made for demanding digging for less fortunate teams.

"Gravel and stones — about 20 to 30 centimeters" said Gabriel Draffy, from the Krematorium Molnar in Nove Zamky, Slovakia. "The others didn't have that!"

A team representing Peter Pastorok's funeral services from the Slovakian village of Kalna nad Hronom emerged as the winner.

The contest took place as part of the third International Exhibition of Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services.

Associated Press