A young vet has been crushed to death by a cow as she carried out routine examinations in northern Italy.
Chiara Santoli – who graduated with honours at Padua University earlier this year – attended a dairy farm as part of her postgraduate work experience in Custoza near Verona.
The 25-year-old lost consciousness after suddenly being rammed against the enclosure bars by an adult cow last week.
Chiara had reportedly not examined the irritated heifer but was only walking past the animal when the tragic incident happened.
Her experienced colleague Dr Piergiorgio Buniotto tried in vain to resuscitate her but she died from serious injuries to her head and her chest.
She was pronounced dead before a medic rescue helicopter arrived.
Her dad Giuseppe Santoli told local media: “Being a vet was the job of her dreams. Now she paid with her life. Chiara was such a wonderful daughter.”
Luca Zaia, the president of the Veneto region, said: “Chiara wanted to dedicate her life to animals. It’s a heartbreaking story. I’d like to express my deepest condolences to her family and all veterinarians of the region.”
The mayor of her hometown of Rovereto in the province of Trentino, Francesco Valduga, said: “No words can reduce the pain and torment if parents mourn the loss of a child. Our thoughts are with them.”
Marco Ghedina, the head of the association of veterinarians in the province of Trentino, said: “We are deeply saddened by this loss. Unfortunately, unexpected occurrences can never be ruled out despite the highest-possible safety standards.”