PHOTOS: Sea cows swept away by Hurricane Dorian return home

Three wild cows discovered at Cape Lookout, miles from home on Cedar Island, kick up their heels on their return Friday. [NPS/Jeff West]

A small family of wild cows, thought to be the only survivors of Hurricane Dorian’s “mini-tsunami” storm surge on Cedar Island, made international news when they turned up miles away at Cape Lookout National Seashore this fall.

On Friday, they went back home.

“That they were happy to be home was evident as they kicked up their heels and ran down the beach once they were released on their former range on Cedar Island,” Cape Lookout National Seashore said in a Facebook post. “The cows were rounded up on November 21, but had to wait until the next day before they could be brought off on the ferry.”

NPS/Jeff West

More than half the wild horses on Cedar Island, along with several wild cows who also roam the beach, were thought to have died in Hurricane Dorian’s storm surge.

On Sept. 6, wall of water rushed the island south of the Outer Banks between Ocracoke and Cape Lookout. Prior to the hurricane, there were 49 wild horses on the island and about 20 “sea cows.” Only 21 of the horses have been accounted for, and — until this month — only one of the cows.

Caretakers from the Wild Horses of Cedar Island named what they thought was the lone survivor Doriene after she was discovered near Cape Lookout, miles from her Cedar Island home. Earlier this month, they headed to the beach to check on her, and found she wasn’t alone after all.

“Much to our surprise, Doriene has found two of her family members. They all three look healthy and well. It is so amazing how strong and resilient these animals have been,” the nonprofit group said in a Facebook post.

NPS/Jeff West

This week, Cape Lookout rangers, along with help from some professional wranglers, captured the family of sea cows and got them back where they belong.

NPS/Jeff West

“The park would like to thank Ranch Solutions, LLC., who provided the wranglers, and Morris Marina Ferry Service for their help in getting these cattle home,” Cape Lookout said on Facebook.

“It took a lot of folks coming together to make this happen, and we are happy the cows made it home to Cedar Island,” said Cape Lookout National Seashore Superintendent, Jeff West, “I am pretty sure they are too!”

NPS/Jeff West

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.