The animal was stuck close by Crammel Linn Waterfall on the RAF Spadeadam estate, but muddied surfaces meant the fire brigade were unable to help it.
There were also unsuccessful rescue attempts made by animal charities and the coastguard, meaning the airlift was the last chance of survival for the animal.
The cow had been unable to make its own way from a river bed and would have been destroyed if the RAF rescue had failed.
A local vet sedated the cow before it was lifted to safety.
Station Commander at RAF Benson, Group Captain Adam Wardrope, said he was “delighted” to help the local community.
The cow is lifted to safety by the RAF crew (Picture: RAF).
“Clearly we don’t specialise in lifting cows, however, supporting the local community is really valuable training for our crews,” he said.
“We have to be prepared for the unexpected and be ready to deliver whatever is needed at any time, day or night.
“Whether that’s conducting medical evacuations from remote islands, dropping sandbags to shore up a dam or lifting an unusual load, RAF helicopter crews train for this, alongside experts such as the Joint Helicopter Support Squadron, to ensure that together we can deliver.”
Source: Forces News.