Sometimes, the most unlikely connections turn out to be the best friendships one will ever come across.
That’s exactly what a piglet named Marley and her cow best friend Eli found in each other.
When Erika and Joseph, the couple who owns Sisu Refuge, learned about a piglet that had fallen from a factory farm truck, they immediately went to the local animal shelter she was brought into.
When they got there, they saw how badly injured she was. Poor Marley had bumps and bruises all over her tiny body, and she was also clearly traumatized. She couldn’t stop shaking and was terrified by her recent experience.
Even though they didn’t have space for her at the time, Erika and Joseph took Marley home to their sanctuary. Under their care and with the company of other animals, the pig slowly began to calm down. However, she still wouldn’t drink any milk.
They kept trying to get her to drink, but Marley preferred to sleep most of the day away. Her foster parents were extremely worried, so they decided to try something else—a flavored sports drink.
Thankfully, it worked! Although Marley was picky, she began drinking the Gatorade. Erika and Joseph then mixed it with a milk replacer so the piglet will get all the nutrition she needed. By the 6th day, the piglet was starting to interact with the couple’s baby goats.
Even though letting her go was difficult, they knew Marley would be better off in a sanctuary with more space. So Erika and Joseph decided to let her go and sent her on a road trip to Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary.
That’s when Marley met her would-be best friend, the baby calf Eli.
Eli was also on his way to the sanctuary and had just been rescued. Jason Bolalek, who operates Destination Liberation Rescue, picked up Eli and was soon joined by Marley for the ride.
The animal was rescued from an organic dairy farm in Vermont. Since dairy farms had no use for males like Eli, most of their kind are sent to the slaughterhouse right after they’re born. A select few are raised a little longer to be turned into veal.
Erin Amerman, who founded Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary with her husband Chris in 2015, are both vegans, as is the rest of their family. They often hold public events to educate people about being kind to animals.
“It’s so sad to think he was on his way to the slaughterhouse,” Erin said of Eli.
During the pair’s journey to Gainesville, Florida, Marley and Eli got to bond and found comfort in each other. The two orphans became fast friends, and before long, the pair were cuddling in the back seat on the way to their new home.
When they got to Critter Creek Farm Sanctuary, they were greeted with open arms by the volunteers and were spoiled with love right away.
“When animals come to us, healthcare is obviously important, but love is what really helps them thrive,” said Erin.
Marley and Eli are thriving in their 45-acre home, especially now that they have a massive yard to explore and a variety of animal friends to play with.
Eli is a friendly calf who rubbed lovingly against everyone’s pants. He also loves head scratches.
On the other hand, Marley remained as picky as ever, especially when it comes to her milk. She only likes it warm and would tip her bowl over if the temperature isn’t right.
“She is very particular,” Erin said. “She’s kind of a diva.”
Nevertheless, everyone in the sanctuary loves her!
Click on the video below to see Marley and Eli’s sweet friendship.
If you would like to help these sanctuaries save more animal lives, you may visit their website to learn how you can contribute.
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