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Father and son died after being gored by water buffalo on family farm, inquest told

Written by on June 17, 2021

A father and son died after they were gored at their family farm by a water buffalo which had previously taken against the younger man, an inquest has heard.

Ralph Jump, 57, and his son Peter, 19, were fatally attacked by Yolo, while his daughter Isabel, 22, was injured but survived.

The family kept Mediterranean buffalo on the nine-acre site in Gwehelog, Monmouthshire, so they could use their milk to sell soap.

Ralph’s wife, Josephine, told Gwent Coroner’s Court in Newport they bought two cows and a bull in 2016, and there were no problems for the first two years.

However she said they later noticed four-year-old Yolo “didn’t like Peter” and would hold its head up and “watch him”.

“The bull never behaved like this with me or (Ralph) and we would keep Peter away from him,” she said.

On 5 May last year when Peter was at home from university due to the pandemic, Josephine asked Ralph to move a hay ring which was pushed against an electric fence in their field.

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She said in a statement she was in the kitchen preparing food when Isabel shouted Yolo was “pushing dad down the field”. She got hold of a stick and rushed outside.

Josephine said: “I could see him being rolled down the hill by the bull and I could hear he was groaning. I got between them but it kept trying to get back at him. He was groaning but looked unconscious.”

She said Peter then arrived in the field with an iron baton to “hit the bull away” from his father. “All of a sudden, the bull started going for Peter, and got him,” she said.

Josephine said the animal then started attacking her daughter.

Mediterranean water buffalo in a field in Italy
Image: The incident involved a Mediterranean buffalo. File pic

She described Isabel being “dragged around” by Yolo before it lost interest and returned to attacking Peter.

The emergency services then arrived and the animal was killed by armed police.

Ralph was pronounced dead at the scene after suffering multiple injuries to his chest, including smaller puncture wounds.

Peter had critical injuries, including rib fractures and lacerations, and was taken to University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff where medics were unable to save him.

Isabel, who had a serious leg injury, was later discharged from hospital.

Coroner Caroline Saunders said she could not say whether Ralph intended to move the bull from near the hay ring or whether it attacked him unexpectedly while he was trying to move the hay ring from the fence.

His medical cause of death was given as due to multiple injuries, trauma, and contributed to by ischemic heart disease.

The inquest jury returned a narrative conclusion for his death, saying his death was “contributed to by not having a second person present in the field, and not having a refuge or place of safety in the field”.

Peter’s medical cause of death was given as cardiac arrest, lung and abdominal injuries and polytrauma, while the jury concluded his death was as the result of misadventure.


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