We recently welcomed the latest addition to the Savista community. Baiju – the latest lamb to be born at Savista – emerged from his mother Banu a few days ago at the pre-dawn hour of 4.30 am. We were jolted awake from our state of deep sleep by a single mighty yell, from a voice that could have been human or animal given the state of our grogginess. It took a few seconds to focus and realise that it could be coming from the pen. While leaving for home the evening before, Kamli our know-all major domo had gravely predicted that we should expect the birthing to take place the following morning. Recalling that, we rushed out of bed, torch in hand.
What awaited us was a strange and mystical scene in the pen. All our nine sheep, including Omkar the lamb that was born just two days earlier, were up and awake, clustered close to the new mother and looking on in solidarity and concern. We were allowed into the circle and silently joined the congregation.
There on the ground at Banu’s feet lay the new baby, not more than five minutes old and Banu was slowly, carefully, licking him clean. Oh, how weary she looked. She glanced up at us briefly and went back to her task. The baby lay still, full of the mystery of life. We stood by like the others, conveying that we were ready to offer help if required.
But we did one human thing. Showing what we hoped was seen by the sheep as due respect, we filmed the few initial minutes of the beautiful scene. But soon we found that the flash from the camera seemed to be disturbing the mother, and we stopped filming. Here is the clip f the video.
Within an hour, the baby was on his feet, stumbling around and exploring all the other ewes present, probably making sure of his mother’s unique smell. A couple of hours later, shiny and clean, he was fully mobile.