The desperate attempt by cows to save the lives of their calves during the Australian flood clearly demonstrates the strong love cows have for their babies. What a pity humans are not as loving.
Each year in New Zealand one and a half million new-born calves are stolen
from their distraught mothers and sent to the slaughterhouse just so their baby
milk can be sold to humans who have no need of it.
Cows circle to save calves from flood [5 Jan 2011 - The Press (New Zealand)]
Nursing cows formed a protective circle around young calves as floodwaters streamed through their paddock in Rai Valley last week.
Carol Robbins, who with husband Kerry farms at Rai Valley, said the cows had been moved to the highest ground in their paddock when heavy rain started about 5pm on Monday.
But by Tuesday morning, the floodwaters had reached the animals and were swirling around the cows’ bellies.
The waters were too deep and swift for a rescue and the couple had thought the calves in the paddock would be lost.
So they were astonished to hear from friends with a view of the cows that the mothers had formed a circle around the young animals, holding them upright as they floated.
"The big cows had circled themselves around the little calves, the little calves were swimming.
"It was absolutely amazing. We haven’t lost an animal."
It was the fourth flood on their farm in a week, each one worse than the last, she said.
Heavy rain-raised rivers and streams between Havelock and Rai Valley early on Tuesday at a rate faster than many long-term residents in the valley had seen.
Carol Robbins said the floodwaters had since receded, leaving paddocks covered in silt and piles of gravel. Fences had been washed out.
Kerry Robbins was not available to comment as he was out on the farm with a group of people from Blenheim and Nelson who had called to offer to help clean up.
The rain was localised across the top of the south, with the area between Havelock and Rai Valley and western Golden Bay one of the worst-affected areas.