Being locked up for your whole life is utterly miserable, for animals as well as humans. Farm animals are often thought of as unfeeling, but a recent study has revealed that cows who have lived in isolation suffer from anxiety and are far more intelligent than we give them credit for.
Up until 2014, Bandit the bull had spent his life on a farm where he was tethered to a pole next to a brick wall inside a tiny steel pen.
Bandit seemed to be well aware of his shoddy living situation, making his story all the more sad.
Luckily, a worker from the Gut Aiderbichl animal sanctuary in Austria stopped by one day to pick him up.
The liberation is all captured on video, and you can almost feel the bull’s joy when he finally tastes freedom.
When the day to rescue the bull arrives, the man, named Christian, enters the cow shed and starts gently petting Bandit, who responds with a few friendly licks.
Christian briefly stops petting to remove Bandit’s tether. Once Bandit realizes he is free, he gives the cow next to him a “can you believe this is really happening?” look and steps out of his enclosure.
Once out, he embraces the open space, running around joyously, kicking his legs up, and rolling around in the hay.
After a bit of playtime, Christian leads Bandit into his trailer and hauls him over to the Gut Aiderbichl animal sanctuary.
His space there was even more open and he took full advantage of this with another play session in the hay.
Afterwards, he rests his head on Christian in a touching display of appreciation.
The whole heartwarming exchange was captured on video and uploaded to YouTube on Gut Aiderbichl’s official page where it has received over 28 million views.