In what some are considering an “udder” miracle, months after a group of wild cows and horses were swept away from a North Carolina beach during Hurricane Dorian, three tenacious bovines have been spotted safe and sound -- a full 5 kilometres away from where they first vanished.

Locals on Cedar Island have long been fond of the wild horses and the pale-coloured cows that roam the beaches. When Hurricane Dorian slammed into the island in early September, generating a huge swell of water that took dozens of the animals out to sea, many residents of the area held out hope that some may still have clung on.

Pam Flynn was one person on the lookout for the bovine beauties.

“There have been animals living on this island for years and years, and they've always found a way to survive,” she said.

After a trio of cows were seen grazing on a stretch of the outer banks, Flynn and her friend Mike Caroll trekked out to see the cows themselves and confirm it.

“We had seen the tracks, so we kind of followed the tracks around,” Flynn said. “Then finally Mike went up to top of … this hill.” She said he had called down excitedly to her: “I found them, I found them!”

Cape Lookout National Seashore officials think the stranded cows swam up to 5 miles (8 kilometres) during the September storm before being found near Cape Lookout this month.

B.G. Horvat, a ranger with the Cape Lookout National Seashore, a national park in the area, said it was “an amazing story.” He pointed out that the cows had to survive a “nine foot surge of water.”

The wave was “relentless,” he added. According to the Associated Press, 28 horses were killed in the storm surge.

It’s believed that the castaway cows must have done the remarkable task of paddling their way to safety.

“I guess if horses can swim, I guess cows can,” Flynn said.

It’s not the only case of animal resilience in the face of Dorian’s destruction: a dog was rescued from the rubble in the Bahamas after being trapped there for three weeks.

He was named “Miracle,” after his rescue.

With files from the Associated Press