Firefighters were called to rescue a cow after it had got trapped in
a swimming pool.
Ian Bond said the cow had been trying to tread water
A specialist rescue unit was among the crews sent to help winch the animal from the deep end of a pool in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, on Monday.
The bovine had escaped from a neighbouring field through a hole in the fence and then wandered into the grounds of a detached house.
But during the cow's adventure it stepped on to a plastic sheet covering the pool and plunged into the water.
Ian Bond, who owns the property, said he thought the 900lb animal had been in the pool for about an hour before firefighters got a strap beneath the animal and lifted her to safety.
The 38-year-old IT specialist said: "There was a plastic cover over
the pool and the cow stepped on it thinking it was solid ground.
"It just plunged through into the water."
The cow was found at about 0800 GMT after Mr Bond's builder arrived at the house which he is renovating.
He said "The builder had got here 10 minutes before and he had already found the cow in the pool - it was in the deep end and treading water."
Fire crews from Biggleswade and Kempston were called to tackle the problem of how to rescue the cow.
Mr Bond added: "The cow was in 6 ft deep water and there was a slope on the bottom of the pool to get to a more shallow depth.
The animal was warmed up and taken back to its field
"But the cow was so exhausted it didn't have the strength to get up the slope."
The firefighters managed to get straps around the animal and then, after building an improvised ramp in the pool, dragged the cow from the water.
Mr Bond said back on dry land the animal appeared none-the-worse for her ordeal and was soon back in the field.
However, it has left Mr Bond with a bill for damages after the pool's special plastic covering and some of the tiles were broken.
"The damage could run into thousands of pounds," he added.