Calf rescue!

This is the story of a little Boran bull calf who fell down an aardvark hole and was very lucky to be rescued by Quentin. We’re not sure if other Boran farmers have experienced this too, but we’ve had quite a few incidents of calves falling down holes that they couldn’t get out of, much more than with our other cattle. We have no idea why!


On this particular day, Quentin went to visit a herd in one of the furthest camps on our farm. It was a beautiful clear afternoon, perfect for taking photos. When he got out the car he could hear an animal bellowing in the distance away from the main herd. He couldn’t see any animals so he ignored it at first, but when the sounds didn’t stop he went to investigate. Eventually he found a very deep aardvark hole in which a calf had got stuck. He had to pull with all his strength to get the calf out and then tried for half an hour to get it to stand. By then the whole herd, including the calf’s mother was crowding round. It was late afternoon so he couldn’t leave the calf in such a state because the jackals would surely get hold of it in the night. In fact, only a week earlier we had seen a jackal calling on the cliff above that camp in broad daylight!

He drove back to get some help and then loaded the calf onto the bakkie and chased the whole herd and their bull, Zed DLV 10-17, closer to home. The calf and its mother were put in a small camp next to our house, but it took a few hours the next morning to get it to stand again. Fortunately this story has a good ending and the calf is now looking much better and drinking greedily from its mother. But it’s scary to think that if Quentin hadn’t driven out to take photos that afternoon it could’ve all ended very differently. Please let us know if anyone else has had similar experiences with Boran calves.

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3 thoughts on “Calf rescue!

  1. hello posting from sweden ,yo got good boran stud keep the good work .Well the incident of ur boran calf is not unique,Im a cattle farmer,brahman and f1 f2 boran in zim.I have had some near fatal holetrap twice in 3yrs.there is nothing special you can do about it but the best way is for you to take some guys with you and close all those holes starting from the furthest pardocks. the more the calf or heifer remains traped the more it gets weaker and can actualy die coz of stress,pain and dehidration.Im impressed with r boran herd once more keep it up.Happy Sweden/

    1. Hi there, thank you very much for the advice! We will definitely spend some time over winter putting stones down some of the big holes in our camps. Prevention is the best cure! Those poor little calves get hammered when they are stressed and away from their mothers for too long. If they survive, it can take ages for them to recover. We are intrigued by the combination of Sweden and Zimbabwe! Would love to hear more.

  2. Hi Marisa .Im always online checking latest information,updates and upcoming events on vastrap,getting addicted hahaha.What a massive project you guys are doing it gives me inpiration for sure.Yeah Im in swedeb at the moment for some time and will be here a little while.But I feel it,wrong place my place is among my cattle ,you know the feeling.after reading your testimony about your visit to kenya Im considaering making one such to South africa maybe to your farm .I have a passion for Boran but Im still very far from your level.But one day I will tell a story like yours.Sweden is cold im based up north ,plenty snow.You are welcome for winter holidays…..

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