After flooding struck Oklahoma’s ranching country, cowboys rode to the rescue of livestock isolated by floodwaters and in danger of dying.
“We just refuse to sit back and watch these livestock drown because I mean, all of us own cattle,” rescuer Cory Conley told KWTV in a report that aired Tuesday.
Through social media, the cowboys who were willing to help spread the word, and found there were others who wanted to help as well as many who needed their help.
“It was incredible just to see a bunch of guys get together just to help a bunch of strangers that they don’t know,” rescuer Hunter Webster told KWTV.
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In an exclusive interview with The Western Journal via Facebook, Casey Thomas, who posted videos of the rescue efforts on his Facebook page, wrote that the work has been inspiring amid the ongoing devastation.
“We’ve had several great guys step up and help not asking for a dime or anything during this time to help,” Thomas wrote (comments slightly edited).
“We’ve used all our own trucks, fuel, trailers, horses, boats, just to help and it’s been humbling.”
Thomas wrote that after friends helped him, he was motivated by the spirit of “do unto others.”
“Myself, personally, was on both sides of the situation. I was one of the guys needing help to move a bunch of cattle before they got flooded in and the amount of friends that showed up to help in a blink of an eye was unreal,” he wrote.
“Right then, I knew I was gonna do all I could to help others like I was helped.”
The cowboys have ranged across several counties and found that they have sparked a spirit of helping everywhere they go.
“Guys we didn’t know were just jumping into the water as we were pulling these cattle off of the island so we could haul them out by boat,” Webster told KWTV.
Thomas told The Western Journal that after a week of rescues, everyone working to save livestock is tired, but that until the rain stops and swollen rivers recede, there will be a need for Oklahoma’s cowboys to help their fellow ranchers.
“Yes it’s still ongoing as we are still getting flooding rains and the lakes and rivers levels are still way above normal,” he wrote. “We’re expecting rain most of next week as well. It’s a real disaster here.”
And action had to be taken.
“I’m not sure on exact numbers but we have not only saved from flood waters but also helped move cattle out of flood plain areas along lakes and rivers, taking early precautions so that we don’t have to save o0ut of high waters,” Thomas wrote.
“I know we have moved several hundred taking early precautions as the water is coming into our bottomland pastures, and I’d say we’ve saved around 50 maybe more outta high waters between me and my buddies out helping.”
As he shared his thoughts with The Western Journal, Thomas made it clear that in the 21st Century, even cowboys have to multi-task.
“You can edit my typing,” he wrote. “I know my grammar ain’t the best. I’m typing this as I’m feeding my cattle right now.”
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