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Blind, Lonely And Ignored By All Other Animals, Helen, The Bison, Seemed Destined For Loneliness, But Then She Met Oliver

Most of us are familiar with the concept of survival of the fittest as well as natural selection. Both seem to indicate that nature has its way of sorting out the weak in order for the strong to survive. However, there are stories that indicate that much like humans, animals also have the capacity for empathy and protection of the weak. The story of Helen the blind bison is a perfect example of this. (1)

Lone Blind Bison

When Helen arrived at the Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary in Scio, OR, it seemed she was destined to live alone. Her days were spent lazing and then being called to food and the barn by her owner’s voice. However, with the arrival of four-month-old calf Oliver, her life changed.  (1)

Cost Of Caring For Blind Bison

Helen was sent to the sanctuary when her owner could no longer afford the financial burden for her care. The sanctuary offers six acres of pasture to roam safely, even though she was apart from the other animals. In fact, she was rather skittish when close to the goats, sheep and a pig who shared her condition of blindness. (1)

Blind Bison Pasture Pal

Although sanctuary executive director Gwen Jakubisin says they did make efforts to find a “pasture pal” for Helen, their efforts were in vain. However, when Oliver the calf was born at the sanctuary things changed.  (1)

Blind Bison’s True Friend

Helen now has a true friend who can’t wait to see her. He comes out to the pasture every day to spend time with Helen. They graze and nap together. They even enjoy meals together. “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,” says Jakubisin. “The change in her demeanor is incredible, her joy is palpable.” (1)

Blind Bison Day Care

According to Jakubisin their relationship is much like a nanny and baby. “Betsy [Oliver’s birth mother] usually drops Oliver off at ‘daycare’ and roams around while Helen watches over him for the rest of day, and she’s cool with that,” says Jakubisin. (1)

Blind Bison Coloring

Although such a thing is unlikely, Jakubisin says Oliver seems to even have adopted Helen’s coloring. His sandy fawn color is now a smoky brown like Helen. “He’s actually turned into a baby buffalo,” says Jakubisin. (1)

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The friendship that Helen and Oliver have is what all animals deserve. The freedom to be who they want, to find life-long companions and nuture friendships. They deserve to live without fear. While we’re able to provide a small fraction of animals a safe place to live out their lives, there are so many more to save. Your support allows us to rescue, care, and love animals who need us and give them the opportunity to make friends and become a part of our big, beautiful family. Thank you, thank you, thank you ❤. . . . 📸 = @bethlilyredwood #bison #rescuebison #helentheblindbison #cow #steer #rescuecow #friendsnotfood #someonenotsomething #vegan #vegansofig #vegansofinstagram #veganpdx #sanctuary #farmsanctuary #kindnessismagic #friendgoals #loveanimals #animalrights #bekind #saveanimals #sanctuarylife #animallover

A post shared by Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary (@lighthousefarmsanctuary) on Apr 10, 2018 at 7:19pm PDT

Interestingly, research conducted by Ana Pérez‐Manrique from the Department of Psychology, Human Evolution and Cognition Group in Palma, Spain indicates how many social species demonstrate “behaviors that calm, help or rescue other group members from distressing situations.” Studies found that the combination of emotional and cognitive elements help animals adapt to new situations. This is possibly related to animals that live in unpredictable environments. (2)

Blind Bison Right To Freedoms

The Sanctuary believes all living beings have a right to be free from pain, fear, and oppression. They provide a haven for animals that have suffered usually at the hands of humans. At the farm animals will find love, care and companionship which is shared with about 300 non-human animals. They refer to the friendships formed at the farm not only among the animals, but between people and animals creates a “kind of magic” through love, trust, and understanding. (3)

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