A €10,000 reward is being offered for the capture of a cow, called Yvonne, who has been on the run in Bavaria in Germany for the past few weeks.

Yvonne escaped from a farm and took to the woods in late May in the vicinity of Zangberg and has evaded pursuers ever since.

Germany's leading newspaper, Bild put up the reward offer Saturday after local authorities told hunters they could shoot the cow on sight because she was a threat to traffic.

The decision was taken after the cow ran across a forest road in front of a police car.

However, local authorities said her shooting should be 'a last resort'.

'We only hope for the best for the cow,' a spokeswoman for district authorities said, adding that she might yet safely be caught.

Since news of the reward was splashed on Bild's front page, hunters and locals have been out in numbers in search for Yvonne.

An Austrian animal sanctuary has offered to buy the cow if it can be taken alive. The head of the Aiderbichl sanctuary, near Salzburg, Dieter Ehrengruber, even took to a helicopter yesterday in an attempt to track her down.

Earlier this month, a posse of hunters and vets on horseback managed to briefly flush her out from dense forest undergrowth, but immediately lost her again in the night.

Locals have also brought in Yvonne's sister, Waltraut, and an alluring bull called Ernst in a bid to lure her out.

The cow's son, Friesi, is also expected to take part in the dragnet, Bild said.

The newspaper has headlined the story for days at the height of the so-called 'silly season'.