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A cow has been saved from the butcher after footage captured the animal apparently kneeling in front of slaughterhouse workers begging them to spare it.

The Photos shows the female cow, thought to be pregnant, bending both front legs and refusing to walk, seemingly with tears in its eyes.

The video was shared onto the country’s social media, leading the public to donate more than £2,700 to buy the cow alive to release it, insiders have revealed.

Footage shows the female cow kneeling on the ground and refusing to follow the butcher after being taken to a slaughterhouse in Shantou in southern China’s Guangdong Province. 

The cow had been earmarked to be killed by an abattoir in Shantou in Guangdong Province, according to Chinese news outlet The Paper.

It kept kneeling while being transported to the business by its owner, an insider named Lin Wangbo told the website.

After it arrived at the slaughterhouse and when the butcher tried to drag it off the truck and into the house to be butchered, it knelt and kept crying,’ Mr Lin said.

The heartbreaking scene was filmed by one of the workers, who then uploaded the clip onto Chinese messaging app WeChat.

According to Guangdong TV, it is likely that the cow had got pregnant, prompting it to have a stronger desire to live.

After the video was widely shared, many animal lovers called the boss of the slaughterhouse in a bid to save the cow.

Good Samaritans donated 24,950 yuan (£2,732) to buy the animal alive and then released it to a local Buddhist temple, Mr Lin added.

A separate clip shows some of the kind strangers driving a truck to pick up the cow after the slaughterhouse agreed to sell it to them.

The cow knelt again in an apparent gesture to thank its saviours. It kept the posture for as long as one minute in front of the driver after arriving at the temple.

The animal has been adopted by the Golden Lion Temple in Jieyang. Donors have given the temple 4,000 yuan (£438) to cover its expenses.

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