CODE RED – Just arrived, seemingly lifeless in a moribund state, tenderly wrapped in a child’s Spiderman blanket to provide essential warmth for his life threatening hypothermia is Peter Parker. While it is still unknown if this newborn can overcome his ails, rest assured we are doing all we can to pull him through. Pain relief, subcutaneous fluids and colostrum have been administered, along with multiple sources of warmth and, of course, kindness. As he lies innocently alongside us in our office, the rest now, is up to Peter Parker. Please keep him in your thoughts.
More updates follow the break.
Peter Parker-two hours on, two hours stronger. Peter’s initial swallowing reflex has upped its ante to a full-fledged suck and we have been able to raise his core temperature significantly. Still too weak to stand, the little guy remains critical but his chances of survival have certainly jumped a few notches as have our hopes. Keeping him warm and hydrated will be our mission as we await his meconium – the first poop a lamb passes, it is both sticky and black and a good indication things are ticking over. We will keep you posted on his progress.
We’ll never understand…
“They’re beautiful,” said the wise little boy who accompanied his caring mother when they dropped off Peter Parker, a little lamb they had recently found, to our sanctuary yesterday. His words described how he felt about lambs. Wrapped in the family’s well- worn and much loved Spider Man blanket, the almost lifeless little creature was entrusted into our care. Rallying shortly thereafter, our hopes too were raised but how now do we find the words to tell the young man that ‘his’ little lamb is no more. In the early hours of this morning, shortly after his feed, we heard a feeble cry from Peter Parker. He didn’t want to be alone; perhaps he knew his time had come. Holding him in our arms like he was the most cherished being on the planet, we kissed him gently, and told him we loved him as he slipped quietly from this world.
Life is indeed not fair at times; this is surely one of them. They say that all things happen for a reason but we will never understand why so many innocent young lambs have such short lives. Industry reports that an estimated 15 million lambs die in Australia each year in the first few days of life, most succumbing to hypothermia. This is equal to one third of all breeding ewes in Australia all losing a lamb every year. We cannot help but wonder just how accurate this estimate may be, given the sight of so many dead lambs in paddocks at this time of year, perhaps the real figure is far higher. Passing from this world cold and alone, having never known human love or kindness, our heart breaks at the sight. We’ll never understand…
But Peter didn’t die alone, he was surrounded by humans who loved him, who did everything in their power to save him. He was warm and without pain. The Peter Parker lambs of this world are a reminder of just how powerful a species we are. They are vulnerable and weak, and they are innocent and pure. If one thing is to come from Peter’s passing let it be this, ‘With great power comes great responsibility.’ Please use it wisely and kindly. Peter Parker will be buried in his Spider Man blanket. Run free little one, run free.