We’ll never forget you, Kalu…our boy who grew a new face
Kalu’s life unfolded like a miracle when we saw his astonished rescuers carry him from a hole on the outskirts of the city. His entire face was a wound so huge we couldn’t see where it began or ended. Behind the mask of blood and maggots was just cartilage, bone and -we knew-unthinkable pain. But there was still a “who” inside–alive, afraid, and determined to live–our Kalu. He endured, then, months of wound dressings as his face, once lost, seemed to defy science itself as he grew a new face.
Over the next few years, 50 million people felt they came to know him from his rescue video, and among them, thousands wrote to us to learn more about Animal Aid, about animals, and how they could help. Many visitors and volunteers arriving at our gates uttered his name in their first greeting. “I came because of Kalu.” He became a symbol of the magnificent power of medical treatment, optimism and love.
Last week, seemingly in the height of good health, one of our caregivers discovered his lifeless body near to his usual sleeping spot–a wooden bed–at 7 in the morning. He died of an apparent heart attack though he had not been ill a single day after his recovery 3 years ago.
He was beloved especially by Mangi Bai and Kesar Bai who fed, played with and loved him every day. He will be missed too, by his two friends Priya, a playful blind dog, and Kitu, partially sighted and fully rambunctious.
Thank you to everyone who sponsored his care, who marvelled at his vigor and charm, who ached for him in hindsight as they watched the incredible ordeal of his healing. Thank you to our staff and all our friends who loved him. We feel he knew he was surrounded by love every day of his new life, and, perhaps, he knows it still.