Considering the amount of cruelty there is in this world it is really heart warming when one reads about moments of compassion for animals such as the story of Anne the 54 year old elephant, arthritic in one leg, kicked, beaten and stabbed with a pitchfork and club by her groom in the circus’s winter quarters where she was chained 24 hours a day so has been transferred to the animal park, Longleat where she no longer has to suffer that sort of treatment. The secret video filmed showing her treatment has quite rightly caused an outcry and once again a call for wild animals to be banned in circuses. About time is all one can say. Poor old girl, she had to just stand there and take it and why? Why? There appeared to be absolutely no reason for it, it was pure sadism, but now a happier life I hope except that she might be lonely, there being no other elephants about. However a fund has been started to make a place for elephants in the park and is being well patronised And on a happier note three dog stories. After the tsunami in Japan two dogs were found in the wreckage, one injured, the other fiercely guarding his injured comrade. They were eventually rescued and placed in a shelter. The dog’s dedication to his fallen friend has acted as a symbol to the Japanese to stand together in the tragedy. Still in Japan another dog was seen a mile out to sea stranded on a floating rooftop and was rescued by helicopter. That is quite fantastic, that a helicopter and crew could be used to rescue a stranded animal. There were great shots of the crew making a fuss of the animal after the rescue. And this is a story my sister sent me. In 2003, police in Warwickshire opened a garden shed and found a whimpering cowering dog locked in and abandoned, dirty, malnourished and quite clearly the victim of abuse. They took the dog, a greyhound bitch to the Nuneaton Wildlife sanctuary run by a man named Geoff Grewcock and known as a haven for animals abandoned, orphaned, or in need. Geoff and his staff went to work with two aims: to restore the dog to full health and to win her trust. It took several weeks but eventually both goals were achieved. They named her Jasmine and started to think about finding her an adoptive home. Jasmine however had other ideas. No one can remember how it came about but she started welcoming all new arrivals at the sanctuary. Any lost or hurt animal, Jasmine would peer into the box or cage and if possible, deliver a welcoming lick. Puppies, foxes, badger cubs, guinea pigs and rabbits all get the same welcoming treatment. She even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose. Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted, waif, became the sanctuary’s resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born. The list of youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, fifteen chicks, eight guinea pigs, two puppies, fifteen rabbits, a barn owl and a roe deer fawn. Eleven weeks old, the fawn named Bramble was found semi-conscious in a field. Upon arrival at the sanctuary Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm and then went into full foster mother role.
Last story: this one from Viet Nam. An ancient turtle that the Vietnamese revere, reckoned to be about 100 years old, in ill health and injured has been captured at about the third attempt and removed from the Hanoi lake in which it lived so that it can be treated. Thousands of people lined the lake to watch the rescue and that is the last heart warming story for this time.