4 min read

Orphaned Buffalo Just Wants Cuddles From Her New Dad

"She really needs love."

Violet the buffalo lost her parents a little too early in life. And now she's on a mission to find some new ones.

Violet, who turned 1 year old last month, lives at Elephant Nature Park (ENP), an animal sanctuary in Thailand. While it's unclear how she lost her parents, she seems to have taken a particular shining to her new carer, Darrick Thomson.

Lek Chailert, founder of ENP (and Thomson's wife), recently shared a video of Violet greeting Thomson on his daily rounds. As Thomson walks through her enclosure, she follows behind him, calling out. When he stops and bends down, she quickly nuzzles up to him.

"Violet ... comes to greet Darrick every day, seeking affection and attention from her human daddy," Chailert wrote.

It's not the first time Thomson has struck a chord with a baby animal in need of help. He has a similar relationship with Kham La, a young elephant who was taken from her mother as a baby to be "broken" and used in tourism, and later reunited with her at ENP.

Like Violet, Kham La seems to have adopted Thomson as a surrogate parent, running to greet him whenever he calls her name. One video shared by ENP even shows Kham La running into a river to "save" Thompson when she thought he was drowning - another shows her running to visit him when she sees him ride by on a tractor.

While ENP provides its animals with all the food and medical care they were lacking in their previous lives, there also seems to be no shortage of love - which is exactly what an animal like Violet needs after her rough start at growing up.

"She really needs love and would love to play with everyone," a spokesperson for ENP told The Dodo. "Sometimes she pretends that the people surrounded is her parents ... She is very kind and gentle."

To help provide for Violet the buffalo, and the many other animals ENP takes in each year, you can make a donation through the Save Elephant Foundation here.