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Being Wild is Hard

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Sometimes, being free, sucks!  

Well, Its true.

     As nature loving humans, we tend to put blinders on to the true hardships that living wild and free must entail.      

     I was reminded of that far too clearly of this fact last spring while on adventure in the park. 

     The sweet little buffalo calf pictured,  was the first of the season I had seen.

      First thing in the morning I saw her, before I even saw any of the horses. And sadly, by the end of that same day, she was likely dead. Mom, for whatever reason, had left her behind. The poor little girl was freezing, and hungry. Enough to be calling to me as I spoke gently to her.

     The lady that I was with called authorities, but the thing is, this is what wild looks like when mom leaves you.

     The truth is, the baby had no chance, and the park had ‘no move’. Mom would either come back for her or she wouldn’t. She might have been premature, she might have had the misfortune to be born to a first time mother, there might have been something wrong with her that mom knew, that we didn’t. She might have been blind, or somehow handicapped.

     I know her front leg was somewhat deformed. There are no physical therapists available in the wider buffalo herds of the park. Depending on how you look at it, fortune or unfortunate, there are no predators that would have found her and ended her vigil. Instead, she probably died of dehydration and got weak from hunger. Either way would be unpleasant.

     The thing is, I don’t know what happened to her for sure. By sunset when I left, she was gone. I had seen a few buffalo in the area earlier when I had went through. Id like to think that she was rescued by mommy and will live to tell about her mis-adventure. As I went hunting for her around the area to confirm in the failing light of the already down sun, and couldn’t find her.

     There is hope she made it. 

      In a confined area, where there are little to no natural predators capable of taking care of the sick and weak animals, that is where humans find themselves with the unpleasant responsibility of stepping in, or letting "wild" be wild. 

     It is not a duty I would wish on others, because no matter what you do, or why there are people to be angry with you over your choice. 

(Originally written May 21,2021)           

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