An Irish farmer from Co. Kildare is the proud owner of a rare hybrid between a goat and a sheep.
The half-goat half-sheep, which is known as a ‘geep,’ was born to a ewe on Paddy Murphy’s farm.
Paddy, who also owns Murphy’s pub in Ballymore Eustace, said the ‘geep’ has thrived since birth.
“He’s absolutely thriving,” Paddy told RTÉ News. “He’s running around a lot quicker than the other lambs which were born. He has much longer legs”
“The ewe has taken to him like he’s just another lamb. There’s no difference in how he’s been reared.”
After the Farmers’ Journal posted a video of the creature on YouTube yesterday, it quickly went viral among customers in Murphy’s pub.
“I’m told this is most unusual,” he said. Although they look similar, goats and sheep belong to a different genus and a cross is very rare.
The Irish Times reports that sheep have 54 chromosomes while goats have 60. Matings do occur, but the offspring is usually stillborn. The most famous case happened in Botswana when a female goat and a ram mated. Scientists found that the offspring had 57 chromosomes and it became known as the Toast of Botswana.
Here’s a clip of the ’geep’ from The Farmers Journal in Ireland
* Originally published in April 2014.