It’s not uncommon to find an arbitrary frog or toad in your swimming pool. And it’s not a painstaking process to get it safely back to land. But imagine you came upon your pool to see a buffalo wading water or a deer mysteriously swimming laps. It sounds absurd, but it has happened. Check out our list of five strange animals found in swimming pools (all of whom were successfully rescued) for the complete tales of these and other unusual pool-goers.

1. Cow

What does it take to get a cow out of a swimming pool? One hydraulic vehicle, two fire crews and an animal rescue team for starters. In June 2010, a heifer was found struggling to swim in a neighbor’s swimming pool after escaping a nearby farm in the U.K. Daisy, as she was named by rescuers, was estimated to have been in the water for a number of hours before being found. Her rescue also took several hours, as she was hesitant to follow the lead of rescuers, swimming laps in the pool instead. She was eventually caught and sedated before being pulled out of the water by a harness. It wasn’t long after, that she was dried off and returned to her herd without any signs of suffering.

2. Deer

An indoor swimming pool in North Carolina became home to a surprise swimmer in 2009 when a deer crashed through the ceiling of an apartment complex and decided to take a swim. The unusual incident was caught on the apartment’s security camera, which showed the deer swimming laps within the lanes of the pool. Apartment managers saw the deer on camera and called maintenance, who herded the animal to the shallow end. The deer, who had been swimming for 15 minutes, walked right up the steps and ran out of the apartment complex unharmed.


3. Buffalo

When Chris Nonnemaker discovered holes in the cover of his pool and a wild, disturbing movement beneath it, he grabbed his camera, called some friends and made the bold move to reveal the mysterious ruckus in his backyard. What he found was a wet, wild and unhappy buffalo that had escaped from a local farm one week before. The animal was believed to have spent at least a night in the pool before being successfully rescued and returned to the farm owner.


4. Horses

In one of the most shocking animal-pool episodes, two horses were picked up via tornado, dragged along the countryside and dropped into a neighboring swimming pool.  Libbey and Murphy were plucked from their Fulton County Ohio pasture in 2010, surviving several crashes into the landscape before being swept into the pool. Upon rescue, one horse easily walked up the steps and out of the pool, while the other required help becoming untangled from the pool liner. Both horses survived with only minor scrapes and skid marks.

Watch the video here.

5. Prehistoric Beast

This last pool-dwelling animal wasn’t exactly found in a swimming pool, but the story is still nothing less than amazing. When Jim Leyden hired contractors to install a swimming pool at his Tennessee home, he had no idea they would find archeological treasure. While working under the pool, the construction crew came upon the jawbone fossils of a Gomphotherium, or the “Welded Beast.” This 9.8-feet tall elephant-like creature was believed to have roamed the Americas 12 to 1.6 million years ago and was later discovered to have been a food source for early humans. Its fossils are said to be the first of the Welded Beast found in the state of Tennessee.

Photo courtesy of DiscoveryNews