ITHACA, N.Y. -- Good moos: Cornellia, the plastic cow that has been missing from atop the Cornell University Dairy Bar since Aug. 27, was found early this morning in a paddock at the large-animal facility at the university's College of Veterinary Medicine.
"Cornellia was returned unharmed, except her red ribbon was missing. We replaced it with a yellow evidence ribbon," said Lt. David Nazer of the Cornell Police. He believes Cornellia was taken as a prank.
Employees at the large-animal facility found the plastic cow at 4:30 a.m. today when they reported for work to tend to real cows and horses. Overnight employees told Scott Grantz, the responding Cornell police officer that Cornellia had not been in a paddock at 2:30 a.m., the last time the farm animals were checked.
The 150-pound plastic mascot was moved on a pickup truck to the department's evidence locker in Barton Hall, where she was given her new ribbon.
Sweet rewards: The two Cornell employees who discovered Cornellia will receive a half-gallon of ice cream from the Dairy Bar every day for the next month.
Since 1995 cow replicas have been adorned with holiday lights on top of the Dairy Bar to celebrate the holiday season -- and to sell a little more ice cream. The first cows were plywood. Lighting the cows became a Cornell tradition, replete with singing and free ice cream samples. By 1997, the Dairy Bar began offering holiday ice cream flavors, like white mint Christmas, a white-chocolate ice cream with a fudge swirl, jammed with holiday mint pieces, and peppermint flake, a pink ice cream with peppermint candy.
A fierce winter storm in late December 2000 destroyed the plywood cows. The Dairy Bar obtained the sturdy plastic Cornellia for the holiday season in 2001. She also tours local events.