Gabru is a 15 year old bullock rescued from Mumbai. Originally, his owner received a diesel-powered "auto rickshaw" during a ceremony near the Sewri Railway Station in November 2011 as part of the implementation of the Ministry of Food and Civil Supplies' ban on the use of bullocks to transport kerosene in Mumbai. In return, the weary bullock Gabru was taken to the Home for Retired Bullocks (HRB) run by Animal Rahat.
During arrival at HRB, Gabru was found to be weak and debilitated, although other health parameters were normal. Raja, Lakhan and Parshya (other resident bullocks) are Gabru’s best buddies. Initially Gabru disliked the presence of people around him, but with regular grooming practices adopted by Animal Rahat, a strong bond is developing between Gabru and his caretakers. With the balanced diet he received at HRB, he has regained his health and has a good body condition now.
Update (July 2013):
These days, Gabru allows Prabhakar Kashinath Koli (a HRB custodian) to groom him for 25 minutes each day. As a result of the continuous grooming, Gabru’s behaviour has changed. He will now allow other HRB staff to approach him, and even approaches them of his own accord, demanding to be groomed! As a result, he has a lovely, healthy, shiny coat!
His best friend is Parshya, with whom he also engages in social grooming.
Update (September 2014)
Gabru is 19 years old now. He enjoys spending time with his friends, Thomas and Khillaria (two other bullocks), and being groomed on his withers and spine. Gabru often eats his portion of grass quickly and sometimes tries to eat the others' share, too! This spirited fellow gets annoyed if a caretaker feeds any of his friends before him, as he likes to be offered the grass and wheat bran first. He doesn't particularly like the mineral salt lick, though, and only licks the brick occasionally. In the beginning, Gabru was shy and preferred to be near only one specific caretaker – but these days, he's allowing the other caretakers to approach him as well.
Recently, Gabru has also been friendlier with his bullock neighbours, Zendya and Nishan, whom he used to show some aggression toward. During the day, Gabru engages in social grooming with Thomas and likes to lie down in the shed to rest.
Update (August 2016)
Gabru is about 21 years old. He has had a rough life and isn’t quite ready to get up close and personal with humans just yet. He prefers to groom himself and enjoys “taking showers” when it rains by jumping around and getting wet. Sometimes, he’ll let his best bullock friend, Thomas, help him groom, but mostly, he likes scratching himself on the cubicle posts.
He’s a chow hound and always one of the first to reach the feed trough, and he’s not averse to trying to grab some food from the slower eaters. He also enjoys fresh grass and his salt lick.
Currently sponsored by:
1. Franklin Hynes & Cai Fenton, WA ($100)
2. Elaine Goode, WA ($100)
3. Catherine Kelly, WA ($50)
4. Marcia Mueller, USA ($50)
5. Alex Maroya, ACT ($50)
6. Melanie Baumanis, WA ($50)
7. Jeannie McDermott & Nancy Warren, QLD ($50)
8. Alex Wheeler, WA ($50)
9. The TC Gang, NT ($50)
10. Keith Baldwin, SA ($50)