Shankari the Cow Injured


Shankari hanging out in her OSU Veterinary Hospital recovery stall.

Early morning on the 14th of March, Shankari, one of the milking cows in the New Vrindaban Goshalla, was found in the milking barn lying in an unusual spot. Lalita Gopi & Venkata Prabhus encouraged her to get up to no avail & knew something must be wrong. They gave her grain & water & kept a close eye on her for the rest of the day to see if she would move on her own. Later on in the day, she got up on her own & they observed that she had a bit of a limp. It was not immediately apparent what part of her was injured – the leg or the shoulder – as she was still putting her weight on it at that time & was let out to pasture which most certainly aggravated the injury.

On Monday the 17th, one of the community doctors came by to take a look at her. He advised the cowherds to monitor her leg closely by measuring it daily for signs of increased swelling, keep her confined inside, &  isolate her from the other cows to prevent them from touching her & thus aggravating her injury further. He said to call the local vet, if there was any sign of it getting worse.

On Tuesday the 18th, Lalita Gopi noticed that the swelling had increased by a half inch & decided to call Dr. Moore, the cows’ usual vet, who was unfortunately not able to make it out until a few days later. In the meantime, Ananda Vidya Prabhu went to Wheeling to pick up another cow vet, Dr. Rana & some first aid supplies for Shankari. Dr. Rana identified that Shankari’s leg was fractured. With the help of Dr. Rana, they bandaged Shankari’s leg & gave her some cow-sized aspirin to reduce the pain & prevent her injury from getting worse until Dr. Moore could come out.


An x-ray of Shankari’s leg before the operation.

Dr. Moore came out on Friday the 21st & x-rayed Shankari’s leg. He confirmed that it was broken. Dr. Moore contacted the doctors at the OSU Veterinary Hospital in Columbus & they said that surgery was the best treatment option for her. With just a cast alone, the doctors gave her 0-5% chance of recovery, whereas with surgery her chance at recovery was 50%. Typically this type of injury for a cow would be a death sentence, but by Krishna’s mercy, Shankari was fortunate to be in the care of devotees who would go out of their way to do whatever they can to aid in her recovery.


(left): Murti Prabhu looking at Shankari in the trailer after she was loaded up. (right): Shankari loaded up on the cow stretcher at OSU

On Saturday,the cowherds arranged a divided stall for Shankari in the milking barn to keep her isolated from the other cows & allow her to peacefully rest. By Sunday night all the logistics of transporting Shankari to OSU were worked out & first thing Monday morning Rafael & Murti Prabhu drove her out to Columbus to be treated.


An x-ray of Shankari’s leg after the surgery with all the pins, plates & rods in place

At OSU the surgeon decided that the treatment method that would give Shankari the best chance at full recovery was to put two metal plates/screws & a rod in her leg as the break had produced many fragments. The surgery was performed on Tuesday the 25th.


(left): Malati Prabhu chanting Hare Krsna to Shankari (center): Malati Prabhu talking with Dr. Andy (right): Dr. Andy Neihaus, Shankari’s good surgeon

On Wednesday, Malati Prabhu & I stopped by to visit Shankari at the OSU where she was recovering from her surgery. We brought her some maha-water from Radha-Nathabara at the Columbus Krishna House. Malati Prabhu chanted Hare Krishna for her benefit, as well as, for the benefit of all the other fortunate souls at the veterinary hospital. We spoke to the surgeon, Dr. Andy Neihaus & he was very happy with Shankari’s recovery. He said she was eating & drinking normally & seemed pretty comfortable getting around in her cast. The doctor said her chance of recovery is 50% & the way things were looking Shankari will be able to go back home to heal peacefully in the holy dham within the next few days.

Shankari showing off her fancy red cast that Dr. Andy put on for her.

Shankari showing off her fancy red cast that Dr. Andy put on for her.

As of right now, Shankari is back in New Vrindaban & her healing journey has just begun. In six weeks she will have another x-ray to make a new cast & see how her healing is progressing. It will be many months before she is able to go out to pasture again. Please send a lot of love, healing energy & prayers Shankari’s way, so that if Krishna wills, she may resume her service to him for many years to come.

Shakari will be recovering in a special stall in the big barn, next to Ranaka’s office and the ox pen. She would love visitors to stop by & see her. For her safety please don’t feed her, go inside with her, give her garlands or anything else before contacting Rafael in person, by phone or email.


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Aaaaaawe! How is she now? Shankari the cow?