She was a dairy cow whose calves were repeatedly taken away from her by the farmer. She was so grieved by the memories of her earlier calves that she concealed her current calf to save it from being taken away from her as well.
Clarabelle was rescued from a dairy farm by Edgar’s Mission, an Australian animal sanctuary, hours after she had been killed there because the farm had decided it was pointless to try to keep her alive because of her low milk output.
The volunteers found out Clarabella was expecting when she arrived at the refuge. She began acting strangely about a week before to giving delivery.
She would typically begin to want food, keep a safe distance, and after some investigation, they would learn that she had quietly given birth and had hidden the infant in an area with tall grass.
Watch the video of the search for Valentine
Deep maternal instincts are a characteristic of cows. When she first started working as a dairy veterinarian, Dr. Holly Cheever recounted a case in which a pregnant cow gave birth to twins but only left one of them visible because she knew her farmer would remove the other. When the farmer saw that her milk supply had dropped, she retrieved the other child and took him with her while keeping the other one concealed in the grass.
Pam Ahern, the creator of Edgar’s Mission, related the tale of Pixie, another rescued cow.
In his words:
Pixie was too little to have been mounted because she was so young. But Pixie loved her child dearly and was a very protective mother. We made an effort not to undermine her maternal instinct despite the fact that she was a first-time mother and still quite young.