On the final day of the Annual Watermelon Festival in Farmerville, Louisiana, a produce truck carrying melons was on its way into town. The road conditions weren't great; it had been raining so the trek was slippery. That's when the produce truck began sliding and rear-ended another truck with a ski boat in tow. Fruit “went flying all over the road.” The accident, which had no injuries, crushed over 100 of Yak’s Produce’s melons and doomed them to the trash. Thankfully, passerby Leslie Greene knew the perfect use for the demolished fruits.
Greene, a wildlife rehabilitation specialist, runs the non-profit River Bandit Rescue on her four-acre property and houses 42 animals. When she saw the accident, she pulled over to help. After finding out everyone was okay and seeing the mess, she asked the owner of Yak’s Produce, “Well, hey, if y'all are not going to use all this watermelon that's already open, can I have it for the wildlife rehab?” Greene recalls, “He said he would much rather see it go to a good cause than be discarded.” She, along with others at the scene, got to work loading up the damaged produce into the back of her truck.
The rehabilitation specialist then drove home and started dishing out the unexpected feast to her furry residents, which includes donkeys, beavers, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, skunks, and more. The first animals to dine on the watermelon were the beavers. “I chucked it over the enclosure, and they started coming out,” Greene states. “They love watermelon.”
Eventually, all of the creatures were enjoying the refreshing treat. “They all just went to town on it,” says Greene. “They absolutely love it. With it being so hot and humid, it's the perfect snack.” She shared all of the adorable munchings and crunchings on social media, and soon enough, fans were flooding Yak’s Facebook page with praises. One user, who had seen one of Greene’s TikToks, stated, “If I lived where they are I would buy all my produce from them!! Thank you kind souls!!” Yak’s owner, Anthony Yakaboski, humbly states, “Sometimes you have to turn a bad situation into a good one.”
Much to Greene’s surprise, the generosity didn’t end that July afternoon. Yak’s reached out to Greene afterward with a promise to donate all of their unusable fruit to the rescue. ”So it turned out to be a big win for us and the wildlife,” Greene summarizes. “I appreciate Yak's and appreciate all the animal lovers who did reach out to Yak's and tell them thank you.”
Scroll down to see the adorable residents of River Bandit Rescue enjoying their refreshing treats.
In late July, a produce truck on its way to the Louisiana Watermelon Festival got into an accident and left over 100 crushed melons strewn across the road.
Thankfully Leslie Greene, wildlife rehabilitation specialist and owner of River Bandit Rescue, was passing by on her way to the festival.
After ensuring everyone was okay, she asked the owner of Yak’s Produce if she could take the damaged fruit to give to all of her furry residents. The owner agreed, noting that he would rather the fruit be used for a good cause than being thrown out.
All of Greene’s wildlife friends quickly chowed down on the refreshing snack. The beavers were the first to enjoy the watermelon.
The raccoons seemed to love the fruit as well.
One of her donkeys even partook in the unexpected feast.
Yak’s Produce owner, Anthony Yakaboski, promised in the future that any unusable produce will be sent Greene’s way, so the feasts will never end.
@ellegreene2018 Not Now Boo Boo!! #priorities #beavers ♬ original sound – Ellegreene