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Calf being raised in NC family’s bathroom is rescued by Charlotte animal advocates

Animal rescues often play out in odd situations, but a Charlotte-based nonprofit says it just saved a newborn calf from the strangest of places: It was living in a family’s bathroom.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue says they learned of the situation from a message on Facebook Messenger, after a relative of the man keeping the 40-pound calf began pleading for help on the animal’s behalf.

“Help. My brother in law found a baby beef cow wandering around in a field (and) couldn’t track down the mother,” said the post. “The calf is living in their bathroom....We realize this isn’t a sustainable situation.”

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue shared the Facebook post with the Charlotte Observer, and it included a photo of the calf standing on a hay-covered bathroom floor, next to a shower stall.

Jennifer Gordon of Caroline Waterfowl Rescue said she didn’t knowif the family, who live around Asheville, had multiple bathrooms or if they were sharing one with the calf.

“I’ve been in this business along time, and I have seen a lot of strange things,” Gordon told the Charlotte Observer. “Raising a cow in your bathroom is at the top of the list though, it was a first for us.”

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Caroline Waterfowl Rescue received this photo of the calf living in a family’s bathroom in Asheville. Caroline Waterfowl Rescue

What worried her most, Gordon says, is that the family would eventually be forced to move the animal outdoors, where it could easily freeze to death in the dead of winter.

Gordon said Carolina Waterfowl Rescue responded to the Facebook post Jan. 29 by sending someone to Asheville to get the calf, which was suffering from dehydration — and diarrhea.

The nonprofit named the calf Lucy and it is now living in a fenced-in yard outside of Charlotte. It’s growing fast, too, weighing 110 pounds.

Videos posted on the agency’s Facebook page show the calf behaving like a puppy, racing along the fences and chasing rubber balls.

Gordon says much about the calf’s story is still a mystery to her. A relative of the man keeping it said attempts were made to reunite the calf with its mother or a farmer, and both failed.

Lucy is safe now, but Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is searching for new home, preferably a sanctuary where there is no threat of Lucy “being eaten.”

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue has earned a national reputation for unusual rescues, including overweight hogs, nonvenomous snakes run over in traffic, and birds bitten by sharks off the Carolina coast.

Among its most famous cases was the rescue of a donkey and emu couple, which were later adopted by actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan of “Walking Dead” fame.

The nonprofit is in the midst of raising $150,000 to move from its current 11-acre site to a 50-acre farm outside of Waxhaw. For details on how to help Lucky, visit the group’s Facebook page.

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Mark Price has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1991, covering beats including schools, crime, immigration, the LGBTQ issues, homelessness and nonprofits. He graduated from the University of Memphis with majors in journalism and art history, and a minor in geology.
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