It was a track she had run many times before but a Sunday jog went sour when Aimee Wedgwood was knocked to the ground by a group of protective cows.

Wedgwood says she is grateful to have escaped the experience with just a few bruises after a run-in with the group of aggressive cows in Manukau's Totara Park.

Her rescuer did not fare so well and was sent to Middlemore Hospital with moderate injuries after chunks of flesh were ripped from his leg as he was trampled.

He was now in a stable condition, a Middlemore Hospital spokeswoman said.


Last night the two were attacked by the herd of around a dozen cows in the South Auckland park.

Totara Park is one of the largest areas of public open space in Manukau, it is managed by Peter Linton of Parklands Farms according to Auckland Council documents.

Wedgwood was out for a run on the track used primarily by mountain bikers when she noticed the cows were acting strangely.

She had run past them several times in the 12 months she had been using the track and had never had an issue before.

They were in an ungated paddock that allowed cyclists and runners in and out via a single lane cattle stop, she said.

"It is a mountain bike track, and they have good tracks in there for running, I was having a breather at the time."

When she was walking past the cows she gave them about 5 metres of space but something was off.

"They were following me with their eyes. I was actually on my third loop of the park, I'd passed them two times before."


Scared, she sped up and as she backed off she may have startled the cows into action, she said.

"I backed off the path then they all came around me from all directions.

As the cows encircled her she managed to hold them off for a short time with some "wild karate" before it was too late.

"Two of them charged at me with their heads down and rammed me over."

After that it was blurry and it was unclear how she managed to get back to her feet but in that time the man had come to her aid with a stick in hand to fend off the cows.

But his efforts were in vain and before long he was knocked to the ground.

"The stick helped for a bit and then the cows got him down.

"They got him down. For whatever reason, more of them charged him. There was four of them and they were trampling him."

Manurewa Local Board chairwoman Andrea Dalton said council staff and the man who leased the land were meeting this morning to discuss yesterday's events.

The land owned by the council is leased by Panuku, a council controlled organisation and agency for urban regeneration.

As part of the Totara Park masterplan the board had already been discussing fencing off all of the tracks from livestock to stop cows trampling and destroying them, she said.

"The park has some fencing already in place, it is primarily to keep the cattle away from the tracks.

"Future plans will focus on that."

One of the people who helped Wedgwood said it was a yearling and the mob were extremely protective of it.

"It just looked like a normal sized cow to me."

The trampling would have only been "seconds" but it was enough to badly injure the man.

"I've been running this track for about a year. You are always a bit cautious around the animals and try to give them a wide berth.

"I think it was to do with the little one. I will not be going there for now and if they get rid of the yearling I will think about coming back."

Witness Mike Small told the Herald the man saved the woman before the animals turned on him.

"He had a laceration about the size of a palm out of the back of his hamstring, just ripped off ... and another couple of tennis ball-sized chunks out of his shin.

Small and his wife were biking through Totara Park about 4pm when they heard a spine-chilling scream.

Small saw the woman on the ground with several cows surrounding and attacking her.

"I took off over there as fast as I could and by the time I got there he had managed to get himself to the nearest fence line and over the fence to protect himself," he said.

"That's when I saw his injuries. He was pretty smashed up."