6 min read

Mom Sheep Fought Off Attackers To Save Her Baby Lamb

“It is beautiful to see how protective she is over her baby and it reminds us that we are not so different from other animals.”

It’s said that nothing is stronger than a mother’s love — and a sheep named Elmina recently proved this to be true.

Earlier this week, the team at Victorian Lamb Rescue got a call about a badly injured sheep. Roaming dogs had entered a sheep farm in Victoria, Australia, killing several members of a flock. When the dogs turned on Elmina and her young lamb, Razili, Elmina did everything in her power to protect her baby.

Injured sheep after being attacked
Elmina after being attacked — colors in graphic photo have been altered | Victorian Lamb Rescue

“In an attempt to save her baby from being fatally attacked she hid her behind and tried to fend them off,” Victorian Lamb Rescue wrote in an Instagram post. “She stood her ground and fought, but she was outnumbered, and her stomping and charging was no match for their gnashing teeth. She was viciously mauled ... but she had succeeded. Her baby was untouched.”

When the farmer found Elmina, the ewe was barely alive — she was covered in bite marks, punctures and lacerations, and he considered putting her down. But the farmer’s neighbor, who works as a sheep shearer, suggested calling Victorian Lamb Rescue to see if the group could help.

Baby lamb sitting in grass
Elmina's baby, Razili | Victorian Lamb Rescue

“When we arrived she was lying near a fence with her lamb nearby,” Jay Smythe, a volunteer at Victorian Lamb Rescue, told The Dodo. “There were tufts of wool all over the yard. She had patches [of] wool missing, blood all over.”

The team at Victorian Lamb Rescue rushed Elmina to the vet for emergency surgery, and the vet team managed to close up Elmina’s largest wounds.

Mother and baby lamb lying together
Elmina and Razili at the vet hospital | Victorian Lamb Rescue

“She was very brave,” the rescue group wrote in another Instagram post. “As she lay immobile on the cold floor with IV fluids and pain relief in her system she watched anxiously to make sure her lamb stayed nearby. We placed the baby in a snuggle bed next to her and she relaxed. Several times during the surgery she appeared to fade out of consciousness and we feared the worst, but her baby would stir and she would muster up the strength to stay with us.”

Mother and baby sheep together in barn
Victorian Lamb Rescue

Amazingly, Elmina pulled through, and she and Razili remained at the vet for several days as Elmina recovered.

“She is looking bruised and swollen today and her leg has been bleeding but she is on her feet and devotedly looking after the baby she risked so much to protect,” the rescue group wrote in an Instagram post on Monday. “She is a good mama.”

Mother and baby sheep standing barn together
Victorian Lamb Rescue

On Thursday, Elmina was stable enough to go to the sanctuary run by Victorian Lamb Rescue, and the rescue team will take over her veterinary care.

To Smythe, the most uplifting part of this rescue was seeing the bond between Elmina and Razili, and knowing that the team at Victorian Lamb Rescue helped keep them together.

Mother and baby sheep standing in barn together
Victorian Lamb Rescue

“Animals form close, loving bonds with their families just like we do,” Smythe said. “Sheep are wonderful, intelligent, caring individuals and they love their babies. It is beautiful to see how protective she is over her baby and it reminds us that we are not so different from other animals. In all the ways that matter, we are the same.”

To help Elmina get better, you can make a donation to Victorian Lamb Rescue to help pay for Elmina’s medical costs.
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