It might be “herd” to believe, but some Louisiana cowboys recently undertook a very different kind of cattle drive after Hurricane Ida left grazing lands flooded—and they’ve been using airboats to do get the job done.
“We got about 300 head of cattle… out here that we couldn’t get out from the back pastures in time before the storm came in, being that it was a quickly developing storm,” lead volunteer Derek Billiot told WGNO News.
In storms past, Billiot routinely employed his airboat to rescue people rather than livestock. This time, luckily, since most folks who found themselves in Ida’s path heeded advance evacuation orders, he didn’t have to.
So far, Billiot and his water-skimming crew have rounded up about 60 head of cattle in Parish Plaquemines.
The exhausted bovines aren’t always 100% cooperative, but at present, the rescuers are taking a “no cow left behind” attitude.
Many of the stranded animals are mired in mud and trapped by marsh debris.
The volunteers have been attempting to coax the heifers to higher ground when possible, but mostly, they’ve had to resort to roping the flood victims and dragging them to safety.
While this good Samaritan-led cattle drive is a serious business, Billiot can’t help but see the lighter side of the roundup. “Welcome to south Louisiana,” he quipped. “Real rodeoing.”