animal

This Lonely, Blind Bison Didn’t Have A Friend In The World — Until Oliver Showed Up

by Karen Belz
Karen Belz has written for sites such as Bustle, HelloGiggles, Romper, and So Yummy. She's the mom of a sassy toddler and drinks an alarming amount of Sugar-Free Red Bull in order to keep up with her.

Dogs and cats get an incredible amount of love and respect, but they’re not the only animals around that humans can relate to.

This story is all about a bison named Helen, who was literally the outcast of her animal sanctuary. That is, until one friend turned things around for her.

Helen lived at the Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary in Oregon for years before making a connection with anyone. Unable to see, she stuck to herself. Surely, everyone’s felt this way before — isolated, at a disadvantage, and seemingly watching life pass by.

This story is proof that sometimes all it takes is one person (or in this case, calf) to make a difference.

Oliver the Jersey calf came along and took an interest in Helen, and the two have been close ever since. Even better, Helen’s outlook on life has changed. The bison and calf can be seen in numerous photos on the Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary Instagram page. In every shot together, it looks like they’re both smiling.

As you can see, Helen has no trouble with grooming Oliver. According to Bored Panda, Oliver’s coloring has even changed a bit to resemble Helen’s. It’s weird, yet quite touching, that they chose each other as family.

But Oliver’s mom is also at the sanctuary. Even though Oliver likes to pal around with Helen, he still makes sure to be close to his mother, Betsy, throughout the rest of the day. Betsy still keeps an eye on him, regardless of how old he’s getting.

Surely his mother is very proud of the fact that her son took a liking to Helen. Helen has become quite the star at the sanctuary, but if it wasn’t for the confidence boost from Oliver, who knows what might have happened?

It’s a solid reminder that we can still learn so much from animals. Helen and Oliver prove that you don’t have to be the same age or species to figure out a friendship. Just a little bit of kindness made the sanctuary a better, happier place.

Oliver gave Helen a healthy dose of confidence. Suddenly, she remembered her life had purpose. Thus, she became a surrogate mother to other animals at the sanctuary, paying it forward.

It should be noted that Oliver was also very young when he first approached Helen. As a young calf, he saw Helen with a fresh perspective — and it really paid off. It’s a reminder to teach our own kids not to be afraid of, or ignore, people who don’t look exactly like them.

In this adorable video, a very young Oliver is getting groomed and snuggled by Helen. The two are obviously quite comfortable with each other. Technically, it’s like Oliver has two moms.

Those who followed the Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary Instagram page started demanding more photos and videos of the two. Even though she was already a star, Helen got more attention than ever for her loving ways. It’s a story that will always be the perfect pick-me-up.

They even made shirts to celebrate the beauty of Helen. Unfortunately, it seems like they were in limited supply. This should be a design that’s constantly available, since who wouldn’t want to wear it?

Helen is such a force that she’s been a help to other animals around the sanctuary. One of her best pig friends is named Uma, and the two can often be spotted together. Of course, nothing will ever surpass her friendship with Oliver.

So many of Helen’s photos on Instagram seemed a little lonely before Oliver came around. Although she was in excellent care, it’s very obvious that she hadn’t warmed up to the other animals. It’s like she was waiting for her moment to really shine.

Helen may be the all-star of the sanctuary, but they have so many other beautiful animals who also deserve a little bit of recognition. According to the sanctuary’s website, it cares for more than 300 animals. All of them were in dire need of a second chance.

Caring for the animals is one of its top priorities, but it also focuses on education. In 2018, 100 school-aged children visited the facilities to learn more about the inhumane way animals are often treated. The increased awareness of the matter will hopefully open up a lot of hearts.

The sanctuary also promotes a vegan diet as a way to help nonhuman lives. It advocates for the animals and wants them to be treated with the respect they deserve. After seeing all of these animals interact with each other, you may be willing to give it a shot.

As for now, you can continue following the journeys of Helen and Oliver on Instagram. The two of them have proven that friendship comes in all sizes, and that kindness goes a long way. Helen is a wonderful mascot for the sanctuary, and she deserves the recognition.