Bullocks Freed From Life of Toil
Bullocks in India have long been used as “beasts of burden”. Forced to haul massive loads of sugarcane in the sweltering heat or plod in endless circles to turn a wheel in order to extract juice from sugarcane, the animals never knew a kind word or a day’s rest – until now.
Meet five lucky bullocks whose lives have been transformed. Now, they spend their days doing anything they want, even if that means doing absolutely nothing except eating and relaxing. Four of the five have been moved to Animal Rahat’s new sanctuary, a beautiful haven in the state of Maharashtra where bullocks and other animals can be retired in peace after years of drudgery, pain, abuse, malnutrition, and neglect. Here are their stories:
Roushya, who’s about 19 years old, shares a cubicle with 11 friends at the new sanctuary. This big boy is a weather geek – when it rains, he does a happy dance. He spends his days hanging out with his friends, licking his mineral salt brick, and giving himself back scratches on his shed’s posts. He loves being groomed, and it shows in his shiny, healthy coat.
Roushya’s best friend is Bandya, and they serve as the sanctuary’s welcoming committee. When new residents arrive, the two greet them by jumping and generally carrying on. Roushya is a bit of a diva, pawing the ground in the evening to demand his supper. But he always thanks his caretakers by rumbling his appreciation.
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.
Like all teenagers, Mohan thinks he’s the king. When people he doesn’t know try to come inside his cubicle, he makes his displeasure known. Still, he enjoys his daily grooming and gets along well with his fellow bullocks, especially Nandi and Roushya. One of Mohan’s favourite things is fresh green grass.
Abdul is around 23 years old and tends to be a “lone wolf”. He prefers his own company – and why not? He’s a cool guy. He enjoys his daily grooming, but he mostly wants to be left alone – except he has developed an interest in his next-door neighbour, a bullock named Terrin, and has even gone so far as to help him groom.
Abdul knows exactly what he likes to eat – and he loves to eat. He picks out the most tender part of the grass, and he also likes jaggery. This aging bullock is on a preventive regimen of anti-arthritic medication just to keep the aches and pains away.
With the support of new pal Terrin, we’re confident that Abdul’s lonely days will soon be far behind him. He is still at Animal Rahat’s original care facility, the Home for Retired Bullocks.
Khillaria is “Mr. Nice Guy”. He is about 19 years old and gets along well with everybody. He is a lover, not a fighter, and never gets into squabbles. He’s also a very polite bullock, waiting patiently while caretakers fill the troughs with food.
He mostly hangs out in “his spot”, a corner of his cubicle, but he welcomes new arrivals by jumping about and making it known that he’s glad to see them.
None of these bullocks will ever have to work again. They will spend the rest of their days receiving the care and attention they deserve and will continue to thrive. Thanks to Animal Rahat, they are enjoying the lives they were meant to lead.