People die in selfie shooting and even the Ice Bucket Challenge was not without serious health risks at the time – but the latest trend on the teen video portal TikTok could be more than just an eye-catcher for many.
The young woman stands up with legs apart, stretches her arms up and finally runs wildly, waving her hands at a cow until it runs away in panic. On the social network TikTok, numerous users are currently posting such videos with cattle or other animals as a “Kulikitaka Challenge” – named after the merengue title “Kulikitaka” by the singer Tono Rosario, which is used to underpin the horror of the animals. Farmers in Germany are now warning against imitating these videos.
“Dangerous to life and contrary to animal welfare”
“These actions are not fun, but life-threatening and contrary to animal welfare,” says the Deputy General Secretary of the German Farmers’ Association, Udo Hemmerling. Normally peaceful cattle would aggressively defend themselves with calves: “If a cow weighing around 700 kilograms or an even heavier bull is so frightened and irritated, a person has no chance.”
According to the farmers’ association, cattle are actually very curious animals and are hardly shy about approaching people. However, if they were scared without warning, they would either start defending themselves or flee uncontrollably. The result: the cattle can hurt people and other animals as well as themselves. “Risks for humans and animals are taken unnecessarily here, just to get clicks and attention,” says a spokesman for the association.
So far, German farmers see no trend
The farmers in Germany do not yet see a trend to deliberately scare cows. But even with walkers, cyclists and hikers, consideration for animals is required. Animals have repeatedly attacked hikers in recent years, most recently three people were injured on a pasture on Lake Vilsalp in Tyrol in June. In 2014 a woman in the Stubai Valley in Austria was trampled to death by a herd of cattle who probably wanted to protect her calves.
But a panicked flight of the animals can also have fatal consequences: According to the authorities, 18 cows from an alpine pasture plunged down to 300 meters at the Immenstadt Horn in the Allgäu last week. Two cows did not survive the fall and several animals were injured. It is not out of the question that nocturnal visitors have accidentally startled the herd.
“We have no evidence that this was done on purpose,” reported the city council of Immenstadt, which leases ten Alps itself. According to police reports from Thursday, no culprit has yet been determined. In addition, the investigators assume negligence in the case of the fallen animals, so that there will probably be no criminal proceedings, even if a culprit was found. In any case, a connection with the TikTok Challenge is not seen.
Sensitive handling of cows requested
The urgent request of the Immenstadt city administration: hikers should handle the animals sensitively on the mountain, refrain from night-time activities outside of fixed forest and alpine paths, and do not use bright lights or even light a fire.
Because even farmers and their employees who have experience in dealing with cows are not immune to accidents: last year, the social insurance for agriculture, forestry and horticulture registered 5669 accidents that had to be reported in direct contact with cattle, and five people died. All the more reason why TikTok users should refrain from scaring the mostly good-natured animals in the hunt for clicks.
- tiktok: © prima91 – stock.adobe.com