There is a bison that lives at the Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary in Oregon. Her name is Helen and she is blind. She came to the sanctuary 5 years ago but she was nervous so she wouldn’t socialize much with the other animals.
“When Helen first got here she was very shy and seemed a little lonely, so we tried to pair her with ‘pasture pals’ so she could have a friend but no one really synced up with her,” Gwen from Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary tells My Modern Met. Unfortunately, this meant that Helen spent much of her time in solitude. “About a year later,” Gwen says, “we rescued a pregnant dairy cow named Betsy who gave birth to Oliver at the sanctuary. The minute he was big enough to go exploring he ventured out to Helen’s field and their friendship was almost immediate.”
That is where Oliver comes in. He is a Jersey calf that came along and gave Helen the love that she deserved. Although they are somewhat mismatched, they are best friends and have a close bond with each other. Helen even started grooming Oliver as her motherly instincts took over. As Oliver grew older, his fur color started to change to match Helen’s.
It wasn’t long after they became friends that Helen started to change and became happier. They spent a year together, never far away from Betsy, Oliver’s mother. At that point, the calf joined the cow herd at the sanctuary but Helen now had enough confidence to include other animals in her life. A newly rescued piglet named Uma came into her life and now they are snuggling and sharing meals regularly.
Helen is even a foster mother to a new calf at the sanctuary, named Italo. They stay close to each other almost all day and she grooms him as well. Gwen says, “Watching Helen come out of her shell has been truly incredible and we’re just so blessed to know her. She’s the kindest, most patient, and loving animal we’ve had the pleasure of knowing.”
Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary provides an environment where animals like Helen and her friends can feel safe and loved. “Our sanctuary is home to almost 300 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,” say the team. “Our goal is to share their stories with the community and bring about positive change in the way they are viewed by society.”
Helen began a lonely life at Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary until a young Jersey calf named Oliver came along.
Oliver showed a lot of love and they became close friends.
Eventually, Oliver joined the other cows but Helen now has the confidence to make other friends.
Helen is even acting as a foster mother to Italo, a newly rescued calf.