Carly Henry, the creator of Carly’s Critter Camp outside Austin, had to begin a quest to save the animals in her own sanctuary after a historic winter storm paralyzed virtually the whole state of Texas.
It concluded with dozens of animals (including giant tortoises, a newborn goat, a young ram, a leopard gecko, crested geckos, bearded dragons, a chameleon, a tree frog, a corn snake, a few ball pythons, and dogs) cuddling peacefully in her living room around a crackling fireplace.
But the days and moments leading up to the serene photographs she shot were tumultuous. “It was insane,” Henry said to The Dodo.
Henry had attempted to prepare for the icy conditions and snowfall. She stockpiled up on food and supplies, and she was able to borrow heaters for the animals’ dwelling quarters from neighbors. “We believed we’d be ready,” Henry explained.
However, as the storm approached, the electricity went off. The heaters had broken down. It was a life-or-death scenario for animals that were sensitive to the cold.
She raced out to the refuge, which is close to her home, and began taking in the most endangered reptiles and newborn animals.
“It was just lunacy,” Henry remarked. “Oh my gosh, now we have to collect all the huge tortoises,” I said.
Yoda, Tortellini, and Yoshi, her three gigantic tortoises, each weigh between 70 and 120 pounds. Carly had to bring them inside since they don’t move very rapidly and are a little obstinate.
Henry grabbed up the smaller two, walked through the snow, and carried them inside the home with a rush of adrenaline. Yoshi, the biggest tortoise, was assisted by a volunteer, and her husband, who had a damaged foot, was assisted in taking the last steps inside the home. “It was a lot of pressure,” Henry added.
Finally, everyone who was vulnerable to the weather found refuge in front of the fire.
For days, the storm raged. The heat and power would come on and off. As a result, Henry, her husband, and all of the animals remained seated in front of the fireplace. They rotated shifts, remaining awake to ensure the fires remained lit.
All of the smaller reptiles took up residence on top of the tortoises.
In front of the fireplace, the chameleon sought to blend in with a plant.
One of the snakes discovered the ideal perch.
The young goat and ram, in particular, were ecstatic with all of the attention.
“I couldn’t believe how wonderfully everyone got along,” Henry added.
The tortoises aren’t usually amicable with one another, and Henry wonders if they all realized they needed to weather this storm together in order to survive. “They haven’t exchanged a single glance. It’s been fascinating, to say the least, “Henry said.
Henry and her husband are very grateful to all of their neighbors who helped them out by bringing supplies and offering help.
“This community is only too happy to assist. People from all walks of life were prepared to put their lives on the line. Everyone was keeping an eye out for one another. That, I believe, is a large part of why we created it “Carly’s husband, Justin Henry, told The Dodo.
The sun is shining, the temperatures in Austin are back in the 70s, and Carly Henry is happy that all of the animals are okay. In addition, she now has new pals to rely on in an emergency. “I’ve always wanted to see the community come together around animals,” she added. “It was incredible.” It was absolutely wonderful.”
Read more at the Animal World category.