The Feral Cattle of Sapelo Island, Georgia

Sapelo Island, McIntosh County

I was aware of the wild cows of Sapelo Island because of different books and articles I’ve read. I was not aware until the morning I took this photo that they are known to charge. I am grateful I had a conversation with a resident who shared a story of a run in with the cattle.

It was my last day on the island, and I wanted to ensure I didn’t miss any road or path that was ok to travel by golf cart (many roads are too rough for the carts to travel safely). I turned down one path, and as I was traveling, I saw ahead of me between 10 to 15 cows. It was a mixture of older cows and their calves. They immediately started to run towards me. I quickly did a 180 as fast as I could on a sandy road in a golf cart.

As I turned around to see if they were still running towards me, only a bull was left. I quickly snapped a photo on my phone and left.

Sapelo is the only barrier island, and one of the few places in the United States with wild cattle. This is a great article that discusses the Sapelo cattle, which are believed to be tied, minimally, to the time RJ Reynolds Jr. had farming operations on the island or when there were plantations on the island.

I am certain I didn’t say a word, but I know I was shouting many a cuss word as I was trying to get away. I will not forget this experience.

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