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Elma the baby lamb is adorable and kind. She overcame a harrowing journey of orphan-hood to find a family who loved her. A couple driving along a remote road in Victoria, Australia noted her on the side of the road. She was all alone.
13. On the Side of the Road
The couple immediately stopped. They canvassed the area, but there were no other sheep around. The mother wasn’t there and there weren’t even any farmhouses in the area. They had no idea how the lamb ended up there.
12. A Newborn
The couple picked her up to take her with them when they got a big shock. She was still covered in wet amniotic fluid, and her umbilical cord was still attached. The little lamb was just hours old and there was no family in site.
11. Racing to the Vet
The couple raced Elma to a vet. He gave her formula, but her health started to deteriorate. She got an infection called scours, which often results in death. The problem she was having s that she never got her mother’s colostrum in the first 24 hours of her life.
10. Immune System Compromised
As Pam Ahern of Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary explains, colostrum is very important to lambs since it builds up their immune system. “At birth, the lamb doesn’t carry any antibodies because antibodies in the ewe’s bloodstream do not cross the placenta,” she said. “It really is liquid gold. After about 10 days, lambs start to build their own immunity.”
9. Building Up Her Health
The couple wouldn’t abandon Elma. The continually called Edgar’s Mission to ask what else they could to do help. Ahern said that she as struggling. “Our hearts sank when we learned that the lamb hadn’t received her mother’s colostrum,” says Ahern, “but we made a promise to try everything we could to save Elma’s life.”
The vet gave Elma injections of antibiotics to try to kill the infection and help boost her own immune system response. “Her little cries pierced our hearts,” says Ahern, “but we knew this was her only hope.”
7. Feeling Better
Thankfully, their patient attention worked wonders. Elma improved and started to build immunity. Over the coming days, the sickly little lamb disappeared,” says Ahern. “She was replaced by a sprightly little Elma who had determined we were the next best thing to her mother.”
Elma is a people-lover, preferring to stay close to her human friends. She is always underfoot. She likes to hang out in the barn while it is being cleaned. As Ahern notes, “She’ll bed herself down in a stall whilst a staff member mucks it out. Then she’ll get up and move on to the next stall when the staff member does.”
5. Looking Out
Although Elma is better, the team continues to watch her closely. “Elma sleeps next to my bed so I can check on her,” Ahern explains. “Unlike one of our other lambs, Fifi, who is boisterous and vocal, Elma is quiet as a mouse, and won’t stir until I do.”
4. Little Clothes
Since it was winter when they found her, it’s important that Elma retain her body heat. Ahern dresses Elma in sweaters and jackets to keep the heat in. Although they are practical, they make Elma look like a little stuffed doll.
3. Just a Doll
“Little Elma is just a doll, quite literally like a little child’s doll,” Ahern says. “She never makes a peep, and just sits about dressed in her warm jackets doing what lambs do best – being adorable. “The cat is considerably less charmed by the lamb.
2. Beating the Odds
“Every day we are blessed with this little treasure in our lives, and whilst she truly enriches ours, we trust we do hers. Her tenacity to beat the odds is something we are so thankful for.”
1. Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary
Edgar’s Mission is a not for profit sanctuary for rescued farmed animals that seeks to create a humane and just world for humans and non-humans. Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary is set on 153 peaceable acres situated just outside of Lancefield, nestled in the tranquility of the Macedon Ranges. You can support lambs like Elma and all their work by donating on the site.