Wildlife Rescue Gets The Best Surprise After Truck Leaves Behind Trail Of Treats

“Sometimes you have to turn a bad situation into a good one."

When wildlife rehabilitator and River Bandit Rescue owner Leslie Green attended the 59th Annual Watermelon Festival in Farmerville, Louisiana, she expected a perfectly normal day. The universe, however, had other plans — including crushed fruit, a generous store owner and 42 very happy animals.

A produce truck after accident that crushed melons.
Leslie Green

“A produce truck carrying watermelons and cantaloupes was heading to the town square where the festival takes place,” Green told The Dodo. “It had been raining and the roads were very slippery. The produce truck started sliding and rear-ended a truck hauling a ski boat. The fruit went flying all over the road.”

The truck, belonging to Yak’s Produce, was traveling to the festival to supply the fresh fruit when the accident occured. By chance, Green — who rehabilitates raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, skunks and more — was also passing by.

A produce truck after accident that crushed melons.
Leslie Green

“I pulled over to see if I could help,” Green said. “After finding out everyone was okay, I asked the driver of the produce truck if I could have the busted watermelon and cantaloupe for the wildlife. He said [he] wanted to make sure it was okay with the owner, who was on the way to the scene of the accident.”

A few minutes later, the owner of Yak’s, Anthony Yakaboski, arrived.

“He said he would much rather see it go to a good cause than be discarded,” Green said. “I, along with several other people who were at the scene, loaded up the broken fruit into the back of my truck.”

A beaver eats fresh watermelon.
Leslie Green

“Sometimes you have to turn a bad situation into a good one,” Yakaboski told The Dodo.

Green couldn’t wait to take the offerings to her 4-acre property.

“I drove home and started dispersing the fresh fruit to all of the wildlife, who were super thankful to have it!” Green said.

A donkey enjoys fresh watermelon.
Leslie Green

The beavers were the first to enjoy the refreshing feast, with the rest of her residents following suit. And, to Green’s surprise, it’s not the last time she’ll get to treat them.

“I have been in contact with Yak’s and they have pledged to donate more tasty goodies for the wildlife in the future!” she said.

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