Calf Trapped in Mud, Men Warm Coats Over Fire to Save Orphan

Recently, photographer Sam Beam and his buddy Josh Brinkin were out four wheeling and testing an iPhone helmet cam mount in a remote area outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico when they spotted some ravens and vultures near a known watering hole. They rode in for a closer look and were jolted by the sight of a bull calf, barely alive, still next to the body of a cow assumed to be his mother.  She had been deceased for days and he had evidently been left to wither in the ultimate act of cruelty. But it appears the universe had other plans for this little one, big plans…

“This little guy had his mouth, eyes and ears shut from struggling for days, but those birds never touched him,” Sam said.

After pulling the calf from the mud, the two men knew they had to act quickly.

“He still had a little kick in him, but it didn’t last before he got cold,” Sam continued.  “We made the call to return to the truck where there would be cell service. We were maybe 20 miles from any real road, so Josh put him up on the quad and away we went.”

He Needed to Get Warm, And Fast!

When they reached the truck, it was clear that the calf was going into shock.

“By the time we made it to the truck, he was shaking uncomfortably and having difficulty breathing,” Sam said. “We gave him some water and he did drink it before losing consciousness. I built him a little fire and we took turns warming our coats over it and wrapping him with them. After a half hour, I do believe he came to liking this.”

It wasn’t long before animal control arrived on the scene and the calf was brought straight to a local veterinarian where he spent a few days in recovery. Sam was delighted to touch base with the veterinary office on day three and learn that the calf was eating well and on the road to perfect health. Watch the incredible rescue video, and then read on to learn how this calf’s rescue set off a major law enforcement initiative aimed at stopping animal cruelty.

His Rescue Would Spur a Major Anti-Cruelty Initiative

Just look at Ferdinand now, grazing on the ranch he now calls home.

It wasn’t long before the calf’s rescue would take on a much greater significance as he became the inspiration behind the creation of the Pro-active Enforcement Team (P.E.T) aimed at stopping animal cruelty and prosecuting offenders. The team is a joint effort between Animal Care Services and the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office in New Mexico. And the calf, now named Ferdinand, is the official mascot for PET.

Ferdinand lives with Becky Koster, a retired Bernalillo County sheriff’s deputy and former investigator for the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office. She is now a school resource officer and took the calf home in December to live on the 65 acre ranch south of Albuquerque where she shares with her partner Robbin Burge, an Albuquerque police detective.

“Ferdinand is such a sweet animal, very special, and not just because I was a part of his rescue,” Sam said. “I have seen this animal make actual change in a few different peoples lives. He does remember both Josh and I quite well.  He greets us much like a dog would on our visits. He’s such a treasure.”

Ferdinand’s rescue exemplifies the potential within each of us to save lives. If you’ve intervened to help an animal in crisis, we want to hear about it. Several days a week, the heroic stories of everyday heroes are featured right here on, the home of some 20 million members. Please share your story on The Great Animal Rescue Chase website, and it just might appear here to inspire and educate our massive audience of animal advocates.


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Sean Charris
Sean Charis2 years ago

Thank you very much for listening to your hearts... And now what's going to happen with this young orphan who probably feel some form of gratitude or faithfulness ,or even some kind of affection for men?
Is he going to be considered like some kind of pet or like some kind of eatable food on four legs?
Anyway good luck for him and thanks again.

Joy H.
Joy Hughes4 years ago

Guys THANK YOU this goes to show what can happen when we just stop and give to others, more so to those that cannot help themselves. You guys are my hero's :)

Lynn J.
Lynn Pascente4 years ago

God bless you! We need more people like you in the world!
Thank you for what you did!

Dresia Vaughn
Dresia Vaughn5 years ago

We need more people like these men in this mean world of people we live in. I wish I could personally thank both of them by sending them on a cruise if I were rich. Anyone who does sucha noble and wonderful thing for an animals deserves some kind of award. Guys, if you're reading this, many people love you for your kind act.

Cindy G.
Cindy G5 years ago

You guys are amazing, thank you so much for saving this sweet animal and giving him a second chance! God bless you!

Cindy G.
Cindy G5 years ago

You guys are amazing, thank you so much for saving this sweet animal and giving him a second chance! God bless you!

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

Thank you, Wendy. Having been told so many times that love cannot exist without sex, I'm glad to hear the opposite from you.

Wendy Schroeder
Wendy Schroeder5 years ago

This is what love is.

Lorna W.
Lorna W5 years ago

So happy to read something positive concerning animal welfare. Bless those guys. I'm almost tearing up. Gives me hope.

Anneliese M.
anais Anthony5 years ago

So wonderful he was saved by these two special people. He is now on a ranch ~ is that a cattle ranch ~ beef?