When one man saw a cow collapsed on the ground, he wanted to reach out to her. But then when he noticed what was lying beside her, his heart broke in two. And that’s when he decided that he had to do something to help.
Benjamin Tipps lives in Borger, Texas, with his wife Kayla. Like many people in the local area, Tipps works in agriculture – in his case for the supply company Agrium. And it seems that Benjamin also isn’t averse to taking a more hands-on approach when it comes to helping animals.
What’s more Benjamin’s willingness to assist creatures in need was very much evident on one occasion in May 2017. It was on Mother’s Day, in fact, which Benjamin and Kayla were celebrating with their family. The couple share a Facebook page, and one sweep through their pictures reveals that they clearly adore their relatives. So the holiday was no doubt important to the both of them.
And after spending time with their own family, the couple decided to pay another mom a visit. Yes, Benjamin and Kayla drove to a friend’s house, where a cow was in the process of giving birth. When they arrived, however, things were not going so well.
The average cow pregnancy lasts around 283 days, which is just over nine months. The specific duration, however, varies according to the breed of the animal and the gender of the calf that she is expecting. For example, bull calves usually have longer gestation periods than their female counterparts.
And pregnancies don’t always go without a hitch. One potential complication, dystocia, occurs when a cow finds themselves unable to give birth without assistance. The most common causes of this issue include abnormal birthing positions of calves and insufficient uterus contractions. However, the problem can also occur when the calf is simply too big for their mom to deliver without help.
So when dystocia occurs, it’s important that the cow receives the help that she needs to deliver her baby safely. Unfortunately, though, in many instances this is not possible, or the assistance can come too late. And that’s what happened to the cow that the Tippses were visiting that fateful Mother’s Day.
By the time that the couple arrived, in fact, the cow was already several days into her labor. Unsurprisingly, then, the process had taken its toll on the animal, and she was beginning to feel extremely weary. And with the clock ticking, something terribly worrying happened: the cow’s amniotic sac suddenly burst.
As a result, the delivery became a race against time to get the calf out before it suffocated. You see, for baby cows, the instinct to take their first breaths kicks in when the sac ruptures and they sense the difference in the air pressure.
If the sac bursts too early, however, the baby is left without any air to breathe. And this is what happened to the calf that the Tippses had so looked forward to meeting. Tragically, the infant died almost instantly as a result, forcing its mother to deliver a stillborn baby.
The devastating outcome came as a shock to all those present, especially as the cow in question had already birthed one healthy and happy calf a year prior. “We didn’t think she would have any problems,” Kayla subsequently explained to Inside Edition in May 2017.
But the unexpected loss was toughest on the distraught mom, of course. “She was crushed – just devastated, and she was tired from the labor,” Kayla recounted. As a result, the cow laid down on the ground beside her stillborn baby.
And watching the animal saying goodbye to her sleeping angel had a profound effect on Benjamin. All of a sudden, in fact, an urge to comfort the grieving mom took hold of him. So he crawled out beside her and offered a comforting hand.
“She laid down, and Ben laid down and was kind of massaging her and comforting her,” Kayla explained. Indeed, Benjamin’s heartfelt gesture was not wasted on anyone present. And consequently someone decided to take some photos of the moving moment.
Later, the tear-jerking photographs found themselves onto social media. “What a great heart this man has,” read the accompanying caption. “This momma cow lost her baby yesterday and Benjamin laid with her and petted her to try and comfort her. Such a sweet yet heartbreaking picture.”
And before long, the touching post had gone viral in Texas and beyond. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many of those who saw the image were quick to shower Benjamin with praise. “That is so wonderful for him to do this,” read one comment on Facebook. “Animals have feelings too.”
And that Facebook user may well be correct in her claim about animal emotions – when it comes to cows, anyway. According to PETA, research suggests that cattle are in fact highly intelligent creatures. Like humans, they enjoy problem solving and even show signs of excitement when they reach solutions.
Cows are also thought to be capable of enjoying meaningful relationships, especially with their young. For instance, anecdotal evidence reported by PETA suggests that mothers continue to call for their babies after they’ve been separated for farming purposes.
With that in mind, then, the road to recovery could be far from easy for the grieving cow. Fortunately, though, Kayla subsequently told Inside Edition that the animal was recuperating. And thankfully for the bovine mom, she has the kind people of Texas around her. Indeed, as natives of the state like to say, everything’s bigger in Texas – including, it seems, the hearts of its people.