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Animals 2014, 4(2), 292-312; doi:10.3390/ani4020292
Case Report

Cows Come Down from the Mountains before the (Mw = 6.1) Earthquake Colfiorito in September 1997; A Single Case Study

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Received: 7 January 2014 / Revised: 13 May 2014 / Accepted: 19 May 2014 / Published: 3 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Anomalies Prior to Earthquakes)
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Simple Summary: Recent reports from several countries such as China, Italy and Japan support the existence of strange animal behaviour before strong earthquakes. However, the stimuli to which animals are sensitive preceding seismic activity are still not completely understood. Here we report the case of a herd of cows (reported by an entire village) leaving the hill pasture and descending near to the village streets two days before a strong earthquake.

Abstract

The September–October 1997 seismic sequence in the Umbria–Marche regions of Central Italy has been one of the stronger seismic events to occur in Italy over the last thirty years, with a maximum magnitude of Mw = 6.1. Over the last three years, a collection of evidence was carried out regarding non-seismic phenomena, by interviewing local residents using a questionnaire. One particular observation of anomalous animal behaviour, confirmed by many witnesses, concerned a herd of cows, which descended from a mountain close to the streets of a village near the epicentre, a few days before the main shock. Testimonies were collected using a specific questionnaire including data on earthquake lights, spring variations, human diseases, and irregular animal behaviour. The questionnaire was compiled after the L’Aquila earthquake in 2009, and was based upon past historical earthquake observations. A possible explanation for the cows’ behavior—local air ionization caused by stress-activated positive holes—is discussed.
Keywords: animal behaviour; earthquakes; positive holes; air ionization; cows animal behaviour; earthquakes; positive holes; air ionization; cows
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Fidani, C.; Freund, F.; Grant, R. Cows Come Down from the Mountains before the (Mw = 6.1) Earthquake Colfiorito in September 1997; A Single Case Study. Animals 2014, 4, 292-312.

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