Maymont Mourns Loss of Arnold the Cow

Release Date: March 3, 2021

The Maymont family is saddened by the recent loss of Arnold, the Irish Dexter cow, who passed away on Saturday, February 27 at the age of 11 after a brief illness. Arnold was under close observation by Maymont Animal Keepers and receiving medical care from local veterinarians for the past month due to sudden weight loss and other symptoms. After a series of tests, it was determined that Arnold likely had lymphoma or tumors in his upper gastrointestinal tract.

In recent weeks, the animal care team took measures to ensure his comfort that included providing extra hay and setting up a tent for shelter against the rain. Arnold died on Saturday afternoon in his tent. A full necropsy report to confirm the precise cause of death is expected in the coming days. He will be greatly missed by Maymont staff and guests alike.

“Arnold loved to be groomed and he was always vocal when we were taking too long to give him his hay,” said Lauren Revercomb, Maymont Lead Animal Keeper. “He also loved receiving Christmas trees as enrichment ‘toys’.”

Arnold and his female cow companion, Erin, arrived at Maymont in June 2011, on permanent loan from Moonlit Oaks Ranch in Middleburg, Florida. For a decade, they have delighted guests and staff alike, spending a great deal of time near the pasture fences for close (sometimes slobbery) encounters.

“Arnold brought the experience of a country farm to Maymont. Guests enjoyed his gentle presence as he and Erin grazed in the pastures,” said Parke Richeson, Maymont Executive Director. “He gave so many children and adults a unique opportunity to see a cow up close and learn about typical farm life – right here in the middle of the city.”

Irish Dexter cattle are a small and hardy breed that does well in both warm and cold temperatures. They were bred to live in the mountains of southern Ireland, so Arnold and Erin were able to easily manage the hilly pastures at Maymont.

Maymont staff will seek another cow to live at the Farm with Erin since cows are herd animals that benefit from spending time in pairs or groups. In the meantime, two of the resident Blackface Sheep are occupying the pasture with her. The Maymont Farm continues to offer unique opportunities to feed friendly goats and watch antics of other animals including Percy the donkey, sheep, pigs and ducks.

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