A woman repeatedly rammed by a 650-kilogram steer walked away from the attack with no broken bones after the heroic actions of her boss.
Tania Kiely was tagging steers at a farm at Decanter Bay, Banks Peninsula, about 12.30pm on Monday when the steer attacked.
Kiely, 40, was only a couple of metres away from the animal when it charged.
"I was pushing them up into the race at the time.
"I remember it looking at me," she said.
"It put its head down and ran at me.
"I had nowhere to go as the yards are quite high, and I didn't have time to do anything.
"When he came at me first he pinned me upright against the rails."
Battered, Kiely collapsed to the ground, where the steer continued butting her. She felt helpless.
"All I remember was it kept ramming me. I couldn't do anything," she said. "It was 60kg [her weight] against 650kg.
"I thought it was all over."
The shepherd, who has more than 20 years’ experience, said the remainder of the attack was a blur as she fell in and out of consciousness. Her boss, Hamish Menzies, heard her yelling in pain and rushed to her aid.
"He probably saved my life. He got into the yard and kept the steer from doing too much more damage," she said.
"He tried to get it out of the way. I owe my life to him."
Kiely remembered Menzies dragging her out of the yard to safety.
Menzies was modest about his efforts, saying Kiely was a "tough" woman.
"There's no doubt about that. She'll be back on her feet pretty quickly, I'd say," he said.
Kiely was flown to the emergency department at Christchurch Hospital by the Westpac rescue helicopter.
She suffered moderate head, shoulder, arm and leg injuries, but had no broken bones.
She was discharged yesterday and has been recuperating at home.
"I'm doing all right. As long as I don't move too much, there's not a lot of pain at this stage," she said.
"I'm sure when the drugs wear off I'll feel like I've been beaten up."
The incident has not deterred Kiely from the job.
"I'll be back into it pretty soon," she said.
A rescue helicopter spokesman said Kiely was lucky her injuries were not more severe.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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