https://www.facebook.com/YellowstoneNPS/?pnref=story My friend sent me this story from Yellowstone. The calf that was taken must have been a twin that was abandoned, there is no way a person can get a bison calf away from her cow unless she has abandoned it and isn’t around. As soon as she hears it bleat she will come running and gore anything threatening it.
Once they are abandoned they get weak quickly. It’s hard to see them suffer and not try to help them, but unfortunately, they have a very slim chance of surviving if they aren’t given colostrum in the first 12 hours or so after birth. After that time, their intestines no longer absorb the anti-bodies in the colostrum, ie, the first milk the mother gives. The rangers were doing their job the best they could.
Putting calves down is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I remember each one. I was going through a very hard time personally about eight years ago and I got to a point where I could hardly take having to do things like this anymore. A calf had gotten an infection they can pick up from the ground through their navel, when it reaches the brain, they go blind. Buffalo stay wild and It is almost impossible to get them away from their mother in time to save them. I have this replay of the heartbreaking little bleat the calf let out when I put it down.
I’ve mentioned before, this is really what the Sundance is about and what my ancestors believe about Christ, that the only answer is to live worthily of the life laid down so I can live, and give death a life giving meaning.
Thanks for this knowledgeable perspective on a very sad situation that yet is part of the natural order. It’s noble to release another living thing from pain and suffering, but the act is sure to cause emotional pain in those who are blessed with empathy and love of life and beauty.
Thank you Fran. I appreciate your taking the time to read this and your kind and thoughtful comment. 🙂