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Kayakers save lost calf along Tenn. river

February 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
What was supposed to be a lazy day on the river turned into a dramatic race to save an animal in danger near Nashville.

More than a dozen kayakers took to the Harpeth River in Nashville despite temperatures that were near freezing.

Just a mile down the river, they encountered a lost calf, freezing cold, wet and shivering, clinging to a small patch of dirt.

He had become separated from his herd and could not get back up a steep embankment without help.

The kayakers sprang into action, jumping into the frigid waters because they knew he would not last long.

"He would not have made the current going through there. He would not have been able to go far enough without freezing," said kayaker Deb Seckman.

"He knew we were just trying to save him. He would nuzzle your face and he'd kind of nuzzle your jacket and just lay his head on your shoulder and arm," said another kayaker Jessie Beckett.

They were able to carry him back up the river's edge to his family. Kayakers named the calf, Norman after the animal that Billy Crystal helped in the movie, "City Slickers."