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Animals At Wildlife Rescue Rejoice As Dozens Of Squashed Watermelons Are Donated After Accident
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Animals, Good News3 months ago

Animals At Wildlife Rescue Rejoice As Dozens Of Squashed Watermelons Are Donated After Accident Interview With Owner

Who doesn’t like a watermelon sugar high? It’s a staple food of summertime. It radiates freshness with that luscious smell of sweetness, the bright red color mixing with the crocodile-like exterior and a thin white line in between.

You know, I just had a weird thought – berry with me. Human beings are very similar to watermelons. We’re red on the inside, there is a layer separating us from the outside, and if we dress in green, we become identical to the watermelon aesthetic. Let alone the fact that humans are up to 60% water… I think we’re just watermelons with brains. Fun stuff.

Although this story is about watermelons, it’s also about an animal rescue in Louisiana that was given a bunch of them after an accident left the watermelons bleeding out on the road. The owner of the rescue Leslie Greene was kind enough to tell Bored Panda all about it. It’s adorable, it’s juicy, so let’s get into it!

More info: Instagram | Facebook

An unfortunate accident had a heartwarming ending when dozens of ruined watermelons and cantaloupes were given away to rescue animals

Image credits: ellegreene2018

Accidents happen. But as stated in the very important piece of modern-day film, Hot Fuzz, “‘accident’ implies there’s nobody to blame.” Especially when the casualties are dozens of ripe, beautiful watermelons and cantaloupes bleeding their juices onto the sidewalk they lay on after a collision struck a Yak’s Produce van heading for the Louisiana Watermelon Festival in Farmerville, Louisiana, in late July.

Fortunately, no people were injured, yet they were left questioning – what were they to do with all this mangled up fruit? Cleaning everything up and then chucking hundreds of bits of fruit into the bin seemed wasteful, but an idea struck the brilliant mind of Leslie Greene, a licensed wildlife rehab specialist, when she saw what had happened.

Yak’s Produce was to supply the Louisiana Watermelon Festival when an accident occurred, leading to the ruin of the cargo. No one was hurt otherwise

Image credits: Yak’s Produce

Leslie explained to Bored Panda that “it had been raining and the roads were very slippery. The produce truck started sliding and rear-ended a truck hauling a ski boat. The fruit went flying all over the road.” 

At that moment, Leslie was headed to town to cut some black willow branches for the beavers when she came across the accident. She pulled over and asked if anyone needed help but, thankfully, everyone was okay. But then an idea popped into her head.

Who loves fresh summer berries (yes, a watermelon is a berry, cry me a river) but doesn’t care for their appearance? Animals, of course! And she just happened to have some exceptionally eager creatures to securely tuck the ruined cargo into their small stomachs.

It would have been a huge waste, but an idea struck the brilliant mind of Leslie Greene, a licensed wildlife rehab specialist, when she heard of what had happened

Image credits: ellegreene2018

Speaking to the driver of the produce, she asked whether she could take the watermelons for her animal rescue. The driver didn’t seem to mind at all, but had to get permission of the company’s owner, who was on the way to assess the damage.

She told PEOPLE, “I asked the owner of Yak’s Produce, ‘Well, hey, if y’all are not going to use all this watermelon that’s already open, can I have it for the wildlife rehab?’” The owner responded, “If it can go to another cause instead of being discarded, that would be wonderful.”

Leslie wasted no time and, with the help of several other people on site, they loaded up the broken fruit into the back of her truck. 

All the squashed watermelons and cantaloupes were gathered up and delivered to Leslie’s 4-acre property where she takes care of 42 animals, leading to a huge feast

Image credits: ellegreene2018

All the squashed watermelons and cantaloupes arrived at Leslie’s 4-acre property at The River Bandit Rescue, where she takes care of 42 animals, including beavers, raccoons, skunks, opossums, goats, horses, and “basically anything furry and 4-legged.” The inhabitants of the rescue were not prepared for the feast that was awaiting them.

She tossed the fruits into their enclosures and watched them “all just go to town on it.” Getting the first bite, the beavers seemed to “absolutely love it,” the other animals munching like there was no tomorrow, the delicious sweetness filling up their hearts with mirth. “With it being so hot and humid, it’s the perfect snack,” she continued.

Image credits: ellegreene2018

She tossed the fruits into the animal enclosures and watched them “all just go to town on it.” After the heatwave that hit Louisiana, this was the perfect snack

Image credits: ellegreene2018

The rescue itself is a little while away from the main town, housing and treating animals in need of care. Once the non-predatory animals are fully healed, Leslie releases them into the wildlife refuge, and the predatory animals are released onto a family-owned property in Homer, spanning a hundred acres.

“I love animals. I love helping them,” said Leslie. “I’ve always been a nurturer. If something or someone needs me, it makes me feel good.” But she isn’t the only one that found happiness in the animals. She posted the story on her TikTok account and it went viral, people loving on the story left, right and center.

Leslie posted the story on TikTok and it went viral, people loving on the story and Yak’s Produce company for their act of service

Image credits: ellegreene2018

Her followers praised Yak’s Produce for agreeing to help the animals in such a simple, yet inspiring way. It seems that this was just the beginning of their collaboration, as Yak’s stated that they’d be more than happy to help out with any produce that is no longer usable or fit to be sold. “So it turned out to be a big win for us and the wildlife,” Leslie said. “I appreciate Yak’s and appreciate all the animal lovers who did reach out to Yak’s and tell them thank you.”

She believes that “more produce vendors should definitely be donating their unsold goods to charitable calls, whether that be a homeless shelter, a food bank or, in my case, a wildlife rehab!” 

“I’m not really sure if there are regulations in place to keep this from being the norm, but it’s definitely something to be looked into.” 

All the positivity that came of this situation got Leslie’s rescue and Yak’s collaborating, the latter promising to donate any food not fit for sale

Image credits: ellegreene2018

Leslie told Bored Panda the story of her rescue. “I have been a lover of all things furry and 4-legged since birth. After raising a 6-week-old raccoon named River, I decided to get my license.” It seems her first raccoon not only fueled her passion, but also inspired the name of The River Bandit Rescue. 

“It is illegal in Louisiana to rehab or be in possession of wildlife unless you are licensed in the state,” she continued. “It took me over a year and I’ve been licensed for over 5 years now.”

Image credits: ellegreene2018

And now you’ll have a lovely section of the tiniest and cutest animals of the rescue, including beavers, raccoons, skunks, opossums, goats, horses, and more

Image credits: ellegreene2018

Heatwaves have a harsh impact on all wildlife and, according to a recent study by Justin R. Eastwood et al., increased early-life heat exposure from a warming climate may affect the animals’ later-life history, potentially cutting down populations and limiting efforts for conservation. So what can be done for the animals?

Leslie advised that some of the best things to do to help wildlife and pets is to provide fresh water and shade. “If you have pets, bring them inside,” she said. “I have pasture animals along with wildlife. During the summer we have our fan going nonstop in the enclosures and in our stalls. During winter months we provide external heat to keep all of our critters nice and warm.”

“If a possum or raccoon is found in your garage or carport, please leave it be. Chances are they are just needing a little rest from the sun or rain before carrying on about their day.”

Image credits: ellegreene2018

Heatwaves have a harsh impact on all wildlife, but there are ways to help our little friends get through them more easily

Image credits: ellegreene2018

In addition to Leslie’s advice, The Conversation notes that if you’re putting out a shallow dish of water for the wildlife, add some marbles or stones so that butterflies and bees can climb out if they fall in. Investing in a birdbath will significantly help wildlife nearby.

You can provide natural or make-shift shelter by leaving a pile of logs in a shady corner and leaving any plants uncut. They’ll provide shelter as well as food, if they’ve gone to seed. In addition to that, you can leave leaves, fruits, seeds and roots as sources of food for different animals to eat.

The last thing you should consider, especially if you’ve got a dog, is the heat of the asphalt. Treehugger explains that asphalt can reach temperatures much higher than the air and burn your pet’s paws. To tell if the pavement is too hot, place the back of your hand on the ground. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog.

Vets recommend that you walk your dog in the early morning or late evening hours and on grass as much as possible. If you live in an urban area with little access to green space, you may want to invest in booties to cover your dog’s paws to prevent damage.

Image credits: ellegreene2018

From supplying water sources, food, and shelter, to making sure the asphalt isn’t too hot for your pets to walk on, it’s the little things that make a difference

Image credits: ellegreene2018

At the root of it all is the factor of climate change. The United Nations (UN) have given out tips as to how we can all contribute to stopping global warming. From saving energy to taking public transport to eating more vegetables and throwing away less food, there are definitely steps we can all take.

Although Mother Nature is incredible in its adaptability. But according to the WWF, not all plants and animals will adapt. There are several examples of species that have begun to adapt to climate change already.

But increasingly, it’s a different story for many. Given the speed of climate change, it’s becoming impossible for many species to adapt quickly enough to keep up with their changing environment. And, as habitats are destroyed by roads, cities and dams, moving becomes increasingly difficult.  For those that can’t move or adapt, the future doesn’t look so positive.

Image credits: ellegreene2018

The fight to stop global warming is still en route, with the UN providing a list of things each of us can do to contribute

Image credits: ellegreene2018

The main point to note – it’s lifestyles of the rich and famous that are contributing most to the decline of the world. According to a study shared by The UN, “a range of estimates point to a strong correlation between income and emissions, with a highly unequal global distribution of consumption emissions.”

“Such studies estimate that the emissions share of the top 10 per cent of income earners is around 36–49 per cent of the global total, whereas the lowest 50 per cent of income earners account for around 7–15 per cent of all emissions.”

Until the governments of the world agree that this is a significant issue, putting laws and regulations in place to govern not only companies and factories but also the major individual contributors to overall pollution (private jet owners, I’m looking at you), it’s difficult to say whether we’ll be successful in saving our home.

Change.org has over 600 petitions currently awaiting support and I’ll link to them here.

Image credits: ellegreene2018

Deep-rooted changes led by groups across civil society, as well as governments worldwide, are needed to ensure this happens in a way that preserves people’s well-being

Image credits: ellegreene2018

The one lesson that we can all take from this is “never miss an opportunity to be a good human being. It doesn’t take much and you never know the impact your kindness can have on someone else.”

For all those, who’d like to support Leslie and her work, she encourages all to follow her social media pages, as well as consider donating.

“We take in roughly 100 orphaned/injured wildlife a year. All the expenses (meds, vet care, vaccinations, formula, food, housing, cleaning supplies, etc.) are all out of pocket,” she told Bored Panda. “We understand times are tough, so if you can’t donate, sharing our posts and our work with wildlife is amazing also!!!” 

Image credits: ellegreene2018

We wish all those involved in the story all the best for the future! Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Image credits: ellegreene2018

We’re glad that the little animals had a little watermelon feast and that a sad situation was turned into something inspirational and heartwarming. We wish all those involved all the best for the future and hope that no more watermelons need to be hurt in the process.

Let us know what you thought of this story in the comments below, and I’ll see you all in the next one! Oh, and don’t forget to upvote and follow the author as it gives me strength and power. Alright, byeee!

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What do you think ?
Bored Retsuko
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

OMG, I'm not usually into TikTok threads, but what a gem this one was! Such cuties! ❤

Laura Ketteridge
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If your garden is producing too many fruits and veggies, why not contact an animal sanctuary and see if they can use the excess. In a couple of months, it will be pumpkin time. Some animal shelters and city farms are happy to accept donations of pumpkins, provided they have no mould, nor wax. It's a great way for spread the love.

Marion Friedl
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Big Cat Rescue in Tampa/Florida´s always happy about water melons or pumpkins. I´m from Germany and do not have a garden, but people who live close and have a garden should think of sanctuaries.

Load More Replies...
Linda HS
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Amazing story! Isn't it wonderful when people come together for good, instead of bad? Look what we can achieve!

Load More Comments
Bored Retsuko
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

OMG, I'm not usually into TikTok threads, but what a gem this one was! Such cuties! ❤

Laura Ketteridge
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If your garden is producing too many fruits and veggies, why not contact an animal sanctuary and see if they can use the excess. In a couple of months, it will be pumpkin time. Some animal shelters and city farms are happy to accept donations of pumpkins, provided they have no mould, nor wax. It's a great way for spread the love.

Marion Friedl
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Big Cat Rescue in Tampa/Florida´s always happy about water melons or pumpkins. I´m from Germany and do not have a garden, but people who live close and have a garden should think of sanctuaries.

Load More Replies...
Linda HS
Community Member
3 months ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Amazing story! Isn't it wonderful when people come together for good, instead of bad? Look what we can achieve!

Load More Comments
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