July 19, 2016

In This Video, a Frantic Cow is Reunited With Her Calf at Last

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In a new video posted by a farm animal sanctuary in California, a mother cow is reunited with her lost calf in a scene so emotional it would move even the most hard-hearted hamburger eater.

It all started a few years ago when a cow named Karma was rescued from a decrepit farm in California where she was receiving no food, water or shelter and was under enormous stress. She was taken to an animal sanctuary called Gentle Barn, where she should have been happy to live out her days in peace. However, her handlers noticed that instead of being content, she was miserable, lowing day and night. Her crying awoke everyone on the farm. They knew something was wrong.

That was when they noticed that her udders were engorged with milk. It became clear that she had a calf somewhere out there that hadn’t been rescued yet. In an amazing turn of events, when the sanctuary staff called Karma’s former far, they found out she did indeed have a calf–and he was on his way to the slaughterhouse. They panicked, thinking they’d never reach him in time. Luckily, the van that was transporting the calf to the feedlot had broken down, and the rescuers rushed to the scene, loading the calf into their truck and whisking him back to the sanctuary where his frantic mother waited.

This is where the video begins. Karma seems to know her calf is near the minute the truck arrives. When she sees it coming, she hops up and beings frantically mooing to let him know that she is near. She rushes over to the fence and stretches her neck across the barrier, desperate to touch her calf and know that he is near.

Meanwhile, the calf is excited, too, straining and jumping forward as he hears his mother’s cries. But he is also hungry and weak from his time away from his mom, when he hasn’t been able to nurse, and he collapses from the stress. Mom is able to coax him back up and convince him to nurse.

Gentle Barn Sanctuary is collecting donations to help calves just like Karma’s. The calf is now grown up and living happily at the barn along with his mother and brother. Each year, the barn invites thousands of guests, including at-risk children from schools, group homes and mental health facilities to come meet and learn about caring for the animals. The animals include donkeys, horses, pigs, cows, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, llamas and dogs. Some were abandoned, abused and neglected but all have another shot at life now.

Another cow the barn rescued was named Faith, a dairy cow who was taken away from her mother so her milk could be used by humans, then put in a veal crate. She developed untreated conjunctivitis that caused her to go blind and spin in circles constantly. Now she can walk normally and can run and play with people and other animals alike.

Ellie Laks, the founder of The Gentle Barn, opened up her first facility in Tarzana, California in 1999. As a lover of animals and children and a major in psychology, she was able to put all of her interests together at once. Her partner,Jay Weiner, first volunteered at The Gentle Barn in 2002, but now helps run it along with Ellie.

From a small half-acre property in San Fernando Valley, CA, the barn is now on six-acres in Santa Clarita, CA, which was purchased with the help of donations. There are horse and cow pastures, a small barnyard for other animals, organic gardens, shade trees, and a mountain view. Best of all, over 170 rescued animals just like Karma and her grown half are now living their lives in peace and happiness at the barn. Over 400,000 people have visited the barn since it began.

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