Helicopter footage shows cows left stranded after New Zealand earthquake

Updated: 

Three cows have been left stranded on a small island of grass after an earthquake in New Zealand triggered landslides all around them.

Video taken by Newshub news service from a helicopter near the small town of Kaikoura shows two adult cattle and a calf stuck on a chunk of land in a paddock that had been ripped apart in the magnitude-7.8 quake.

The patch of grass was surrounded by deep ravines of collapsed earth, trapping the animals where they stood. It is not yet known who owns the cattle or what is being done to help them.

Cows in New Zealand
New Zealand's 10 million cattle easily outnumber its 4.7 million people (Nick Perry/AP)

Kaikoura is close to the epicentre of the overnight earthquake, and where one of two confirmed deaths from the quake occurred.

The quake was strongly felt to the south in Christchurch, but was far less damaging than a smaller 2011 earthquake that devastated the city and killed 185 people.