“He was definitely a lucky little calf that day.”
That’s how Bobbi Bordeleau described an incident that occurred Saturday evening, June 27, when a newborn Hereford calf fell into the North Thompson River west of Birch Island.
The calf belongs to her uncle, Dan Moss, and he spotted it on a sandbar in the river while he was haying, she said.
About seven family members responded and drove down to the river to help.
Unfortunately, the newborn animal panicked and jumped off the downstream end of the sandbar.
“It broke my heart when he did that,” said Bobbi Bordeleau. “It was just before sunset, maybe 8:00 or 8:30. It was just getting dark. The calf was in the main current and I thought it was a goner.”
She ran down the bank, following the calf, while the rest of the family members followed behind in their vehicles.
At one point the calf came close to shore. Her husband, Richard Bordeleau, tried to reach it and ended up falling in himself.
He was unhurt and was able to get out almost right away, but lost a shoe in the process.
Her cousin, Kenny Irvine, got into a kayak and was able to direct the calf into shallower water.
Once there, the others were able to rescue it and bring it to shore.
Her Uncle Dan tubed the calf with warm formula to help prevent hypothermia and it fell asleep on Bobbi’s lap.
After a night in a warm barn, the calf was returned to its mother the following day.
The cow was an experienced mother and there was no problem with her accepting the calf, Bobbi Bordeleau reported.
“She had been looking for her calf but she seemed a bit surprised when my Uncle Dan brought it back,” she said.
Following the incident most of the herd was seen grazing near the river – all but the calf (now called Ken-27 after its rescuer), which was as far from the flowing water as it could get.
“My faith in humanity was restored by what happened,” Bobbi Bordeleau said. “Everyone jumped into action and did what needed to be done.”