When Mike Stura, founder of Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in New Jersey, learned that Hurricane Harvey was about to ravish Houston, Texas and the surrounding areas, he knew instantly what he needed to do: help the human and animal victims of the deadly storm. Stura has been involved with animal rescue for years, but nothing could have prepared him for the devastation he was about to see in Houston.
“I had no concept of who I’m going to help,” he told Mother Nature Network. “It may be that I come across a Chihuahua treading water the first minute I’m there — and that ends up being my project. Help him and get him back where he belongs.”
Stura was asked to help move horses to higher ground and he joined search parties for people in distress. Then one-day, Stura was parked at a gas station near Beaumont, Texas when a local cattle rancher came knocking on his truck door, pleading for help because most of his animals were dead and more were missing.
The rancher first led Stura to a bull who was weak and exhausted. The men tried to lead the cow into a trailer with a rope harness but then suddenly, the animal was in a gully with about six feet of water. “As soon as he realizes he’s in the water again, he just gives up,” Stura recalled, “He doesn’t kick. Nothing. He starts to bob on his side a bit. Then he starts to go under.”
Despite the intense situation, Stura wasn’t about to let the animal die drowning. Stura, along with the rancher and another passerby, were able to successfully move the large animal out of the water.
Stura and the rancher ended up saving 11 more animals that day. Stura asked the rancher if he could take the bull back to his sanctuary in New Jersey. Amazingly, the cattle rancher said that he could see the bond between them and he could have the bull.
Now named Babe, he is home at last at Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue. Babe now has a 232-acre sanctuary to call his own and will never have to fear life again.
We wish you many years of happiness, Babe!
We are thankful Stura sees cows as the intelligent and emotional animals that they are and could give this sweet bull a second chance!
To learn more about how you can help Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue’s cause, visit their website.
All image source: Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue/Facebook