Pearl – we couldn’t love you any more if we tried

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Our Facebook followers have already fallen in love with Pearl, a fluffy-faced little lamb of around six weeks of age, and we are sure you will, too.

Pearl’s arrival at our sanctuary was heralded by the pungent smell of fly-strike just moments before her severely emaciate body came into view. If you have never smelled fly-strike in a living animal, consider it a blessing. But where was this deadly menace? Once gently laid on our examination table, we could see no obvious wounds. However, as soon as we lifted her tiny right hind leg those flesh-eating maggots could hide no more – although they tried their darnedest to make a hasty retreat inside the hole they had burrowed into poor Pearl’s leg.  Such a terrible oozing wound gave answer to the bloody smear little Pearl had on her nose, no doubt the result of her feeble attempts to rid herself of the wriggling menace that was eating her alive. Yes indeed, a sickening sight and smell.

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Minutes later they were sent packing as we set to work ensuring little Pearl remained on the right side of living. It was painfully clear we were going to have our work cut out for us due to the heartbreaking state of one so young. Pearl was so weak she could barely stand, clearly she had been struggling on her own for some time without her mother’s love and nourishment. She must have been on her own for so long that her little digestive system and ability to process milk, which would have enabled her to consume her mother’s milk or our substitute formula, had almost entirely shut down and her sucking reflex completely gone.

But little Pearl, with her sweet and cheeky face, looked into our eyes and we knew she wanted to live. Her plucky resolve to simply keep hanging in there for so long despite the formidable odds stacked against her, which increased by the moment, was encouraging. As the temperatures plummeted to subzero each night, we find her will to survive both amazing and profoundly inspirational, and we honestly could not love her any more if we tried.

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