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Troubled Youth: Sven & Grimm Find a New Home

Sven, Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, Herriman, Utah

Sven, Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, Herriman, Utah

When I first met Sven he had just arrived at his new home and had yet to settle into sanctuary life; he seemed out of sorts and was uninterested in interacting with me or the odd device I carried around and was pointing at the residents around him. Even my odd exhortations and noises failed to rouse him. Knowing now how he had been taken from his mother, thrust into a mix of young humans dealing with issues of their own but expected to offer succor to a frightened young calf (his full story below), and then brought to a new space with many other new species of people he had likely never encountered prior, I think one can understand why Sven would not be amenable to a photo shoot.

That was drastically different the next time I visited. Sven was galloping around the sanctuary with his buddy Grimm, inspecting my camera and me, acting like the goofy and obnoxious teenage steer calf I would expect to meet. And now my sanctuary public service announcement: teenage calves tend to be rambunctious to obnoxious to unintentionally dangerous to the smaller, frailer humans around them - they almost always just want to play, but we are not built to handle a good ol' calf tussle. Visitors to sanctuaries would do well to remember that an 800 pound teenage calf is surely cute and surely going to knock you on your butt if they get feisty, or worse, if they are feeling the stirrings of puberty, try to mount you, so watch your toes and that gleam in their eyes!

Seeing Sven and Grimm run and buck and annoy their elder herdmates Parvati and Nandi was delightful. It was magical to see Sven transformed from a shut down baby to a happy boy, and the love he showed toward sanctuary founder Faith and his adopted brother Grimm was a testament for me to the healing power of sanctuaries. 

Grimm, Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, Herriman, Utah

Grimm, Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, Herriman, Utah

Yoga Animalia: Bovine - Sven

Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, Herriman, Utah

Raised in a center for troubled youth, Sven was viewed as nothing more than a project to teach the youth rather than the terrified youngster missing his mother that he was. Perhaps it was this that bonded the kids at the center with Sven, but they would not let him be sent to slaughter at the completion of the program, and instead Ching was able to offer him a home. At Ching, Sven found cattle and doting human family, but soon got a best buddy in Grimm, rescued from a similar facility. Together the two boys run amok around the sanctuary.

Sven, Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, Herriman, Utah

Sven, Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, Herriman, Utah

Sven, Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, Herriman, Utah

Sven, Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, Herriman, Utah

Yoga Animalia: Bovine - Grimm

Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, Herriman, Utah

Grimm was taken from his mother as a baby and brought to a residential treatment center for troubled teens where raising him was supposed to teach responsibility, and then, after three months, taking him away to be slaughtered was supposed to teach the teens how to deal with grief. Fighting against Grimm’s fate, the teens got their parents involved and were able to get Grimm released to Ching. There Grimm befriended Sven, rescued from a similar program, and found family with the other sanctuary cattle.

Grimm, Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, Herriman, Utah

Grimm, Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary, Herriman, Utah