A 59-year-old nurse has been left in intensive care after being trampled by a herd of COWS – while taking part in a TREASURE HUNT.
Sarah Leonard was walking in a field with her dog in North Scarle, Lincs., when the group of animals charged leaving her with life threatening injuries.
She suffered two broken arms, a broken collarbone, a broken jaw and several broken ribs in the terrifying stampede on Saturday afternoon.
Incredibly, Sarah bravely managed to dial 999 herself but it took paramedics 30 minutes to find her as she did not know where she was.
She was rushed to Lincoln County Hospital where she yesterday remained in a stable condition after several operations to save her life.
Yesterday her worried brother, Andrew Leonard, 62, said: “She is now very slowly on the mend.”
Sarah, from Norton, Sheffield, had been “geocaching” – an internet-based high-tech treasure hunt which uses GPS.
A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “We received a call from a woman saying she had been injured and was lying in a field.
“She said she had been hurt when cows stampeded and knocked her over.
“Although she didn’t know exactly where she was, within half-an-hour her car was located at North Scarle cemetery.
“And she was found in the field off Church Lane in the village soon after.
“The woman was in quite a bad way, with severe injuries including a broken jaw and other fractures.”
Sarah’s pet King Charles spaniel Megs was uninjured after she ran off when around a dozen cows charged at them at around 3.25pm.
PCSO Jo Mackie and brother Andrew found the petrified pooch cowering in a bush the following day.
The police spokesman added: “PCSO Mackie was just coming off duty when the incident happened on Saturday.
“And, when she came back on Sunday, she went out with the lady’s brother and – after a search – found her dog, which had run off.”
It is not clear whether Sarah was on private land at the time or whether she had permission to be in the field as part of the hunt.
North Scarle Parish councillor Chris Dixon, added: “You’d have thought permission would be required from the landowner to bury something on farmland.”
The Geocaching Association of Great Britain’s (GAGB) code of conduct simply states: “Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate.”
Its chairman Jen Harkley said: “News of Sarah’s accident at the weekend did reach us and we have passed on our best wishes for a speedy recovery.
“The GAGB aren’t able to discuss the accident as we don’t know the circumstances or details of her injuries.
“However, I have sent a message to one of her geocaching friends who is in contact with her family.”
Pete Dudley posted Miss Leonard’s plight on the Geocaching Midlands Facebook page.
He said: “Take care out there folks. Unfortunately, I have some upsetting news.
“Sarah Leonard was caching on Saturday and she was stampeded by a herd of cows.
“Unfortunately this left her seriously injured and she is now in intensive care in hospital.
“She has a number of fractures, is stable and is sedated for pain control.”
* Geocaching involves hiding a small waterproof box containing a logbook and a pen, recording its co-ordinates and logging its location on a website.
Another “cacher” will see the listing, enter the co-ordinates into their GPS receiver and go in search of it.
It is similar to the 150-year-old game letterboxing, which uses clues and references to landmarks embedded in stories.
Geocaching was invented in 2000 when GPS readings became more accurate.
In total there are 2 million geocaches are found all over the world and more than 5 million people take part in the activity globally.