Helen is a blind bison that has been living at Oregon’s Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary without making a single friend. She was nervous and suspicious. And it seemed like she was destined for a life of loneliness. But one day everything changed. Oliver the young Jersey calf came. It did not take him long to bring down the barriers Helen had built around herself. She came to trust him, and gradually they became best friends.
Now the duo is inseparable. It looks like Helen has ‘adopted’ Oliver. Oliver’s fur changed color as he gradually grew up. And the best thing is, now his fur matches the color of her!
“He has actually turned into a baby buffalo,” Lighthouse Sanctuary’s Gwen Jakubisin told USA Today. “The change in her demeanor is incredible, her joy is palpable.”
For Jakubisin, their relationship is that of a loving nanny who cares for a baby. “Betsy (Oliver’s mom) usually drops Oliver off at ‘daycare’ and roams around while Helen watches over him for the rest of the day, and she’s cool with that,” she said.
“I catch them grooming each other which is amazing because I don’t think Helen has ever had that opportunity to express that motherly instinct before.”
Their friendship has given Helen courage to get out of her shell and now she has even befriended other animals in the sanctuary!
The sanctuary itself is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and, when appropriate, rehoming of abused and neglected farmed animals. According to their website, over 200 animals, including pigs, cows, horses, chickens, sheep, and goats are homed there.
Their mission is to “help shine a light on the realities of animal agriculture and lead the way to a more compassionate world.”
They make sure that this comes true through facilitating meaningful relationships between people and the animals that they care for.
“At Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary we believe that every individual has the right to freedom,” they write. “Freedom from pain, freedom from fear, and freedom from oppression. We provide those with the most heartbreaking stories hope and the promise of the freedom to be themselves. A promise of companionship, of love, and of care.”
“Our sanctuary is home to 250 non-human animals who have seen the very worst of humanity and every day they amaze us with their profound abilities to love and to be loved, even after the tragedies they have endured. Our goal is to share their stories with the community and bring about positive change in the way they are viewed by society.”
“By fostering beautiful, meaningful bonds between people and the animals they may see as “food” or as “things” we are changing the future for the individuals who mean so much to us.”
“People who visit and volunteer at the sanctuary often comment on the unique sense of peace they feel when being here. All of our residents cohabitate peacefully and have strong friendships with one another. They know they are safe and loved. We like to call it a kind of magic created by love, trust, and understanding.”
So what do you think of this amazing friendship? And of this sanctuary?
And also, feel free to support the sanctuary’s amazing project!