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The Grieving of E17

I witnessed the most amazing thing at Rustenberg yesterday evening. I had got a phone call in the early morning to say there was a dead calf. By the time I got there to move them to their new camp, more luscious grass that the Barlow family kindly let us graze, I could immediately see who the mother was.


E17 is a Simbra cow who arrived, in calf, from Standerton last month. She was terribly distressed. Frantically walking around and continuously coming back to the calf of Ohbella that was born the day before.


What seemed to be happening to me was that Ohbella was happy for E17 to give attention to this new born calf as a way to ease her pain. Normally a mother of a day old calf does not allow anyone, human or animal, near her calf. However it seemed that Ohbella realized E17’s pain and so let her attend to the new born calf.


E17’s calf was a big one and it appears that she took too long to give birth and so he was stillborn.

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