Helen, a blind bison, spent years at Oregon’s Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary without making a single friend. She was nervous, suspicious and seemingly destined to live out the rest of her life sad and alone. That was until she met Oliver. The young Jersey calf was curious from birth and soon managed to break down the barriers that Helen had constructed around herself. She came to trust him, and they became friends.
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Now, the pair is inseparable. Helen seems to have ‘adopted’ Oliver, and Oliver’s fur has even changed colors as he grew older and now it matches hers.
“He’s 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.”
Jakubisin sees their relationship like 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 day, and she’s cool with that,” she said.
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Helen and Oliver enjoying their freedom to just be. What a wonderful, incredible gift that is. ❤ Happy holidays, friends! . . . #cow #cowsofinstagram #rescuecow #bison #rescuebison #friendsnotfood #someonenotsomething #vegan #vegansofig #vegansofinstagram #veganpdx #sanctuary #farmsanctuary #kindnessismagic #friendgoals #loveanimals #animalrights #bekind #saveanimals #sanctuarylife #animallover
“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.”
This amazing friendship has brought Helen out of her shell, giving her the confidence to go and befriend other animals in the sanctuary, too.
“Our sanctuary is home to 250 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.”
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No matter what kind of adventures Oliver has during the day, he never misses his evening snuggles with Helen. Serious best friend goals. ❤ #calf #rescuecalf #bison #rescuebison #friendsnotfood #someonenotsomething #vegan #vegansofig #vegansofinstagram #veganpdx #sanctuary #farmsanctuary #kindnessismagic #bestfriendgoals
“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.”
What do you think about the bond that Helen and Oliver were able to build? Let us know what you think in the comments below, and feel free to support the sanctuary’s amazing project!