19th July 2013
A Plea to Farmers
As Victorians and South Australians prepare to hanker down for some pretty wild weather this weekend, we send a special plea to farmers to please, please check their sheep. In particular, those with ewes who have lambed or are about to lamb, please check your stock. All too often now we are hearing reports from members of the public who are most distressed to see dead and dying lambs in paddocks along with emaciated stock. And as is the case with our most recently rescued little lamb, Peter Pan, members of the public are being called upon to assist lost, abandoned and orphaned lambs.
We give thanks to the gentle man who did what any decent human being would do when they come upon a creature in distress; bundling up the tiny waif and removing him from danger the Good Samaritan could not live with the thought of the hapless lamb dying cold and alone. And we give thanks to the kind family who went out and bought the best lamb formula they could find to nourish the wee one until our rescue team could collect young Peter. Alas Peter is by no means out of danger, weighing in at just over 2kgs at around three days old, where the birth weight of a similar lamb would be around 5kgs, his condition is critical. Already his immature immune system is under assault from losing his mother and being left to fend for himself in the most hostile of conditions. To further add to his woes, Peter Pan has blood stained faeces and a raging gut infection has set in. But with medication administered and warmth provided, love and tender kindness a plenty (as well as happy and healthy lambie friends waiting) Peter is in the best place he can be.
As the wee soul curled up in his blanket on the front seat of the oh so cosy and warm Kindness Van in preparation for the journey home, our outstretched hand gently caressed his tiny chin. A little sigh Peter did make as he closed his eyes and drifted off to Never Never Land. This poignant moment was a heart wrenching reminder of just how human-like and vulnerable baby lambs are in that they readily respond to the warmth of a gentle touch and have the same need to feel safe. Please keep Peter Pan and those of his kind in your thoughts this weekend.
Footnote to this story – It is estimated that 15 million lambs die each year in Australia in the first 48 hours of birth, many due to hypothermia. Farmers please check your stock.