- Associated Press - Sunday, February 9, 2014

SOCHI, Russia (AP) - You’re speeding up and down a highway in the foothills of the Caucasus, heading back to Olympic Park, when suddenly - SCREECH. The car slams to a halt.

A cow is meandering smack in the middle of the road.

AP reporters spotted cows not once but twice Saturday on major roads between Olympic Park and northern Sochi. Earlier, a cow and calf were grazing alongside the crest of another highway, their backsides facing traffic.

A Sochi blogger suggests it’s been a problem for a while, and wishes local small farmers would take closer care of their herds.

While much of Russia’s expanse is covered in permafrost, this area houses some of the country’s most fertile land. The stadiums and hotels freshly built for the Winter Olympics are right next to a former collective farm that cultivated subtropical plants.

With busloads of Olympic spectators in town, there’s good advice hidden here for drivers: Be alert to slow-moving bovines on fast-moving roads.

- Angela Charlton - Twitter https://twitter.com/acharlton

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Associated Press reporters will be filing dispatches about happenings in and around Sochi during the 2014 Winter Games. Follow AP journalists covering the Olympics on Twitter: https://apne.ws/1c3WMiu

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