Göttingen's “geep” is one-of-a-kind

DPA/The Local
DPA/The Local - [email protected] • 5 Sep, 2014 Updated Fri 5 Sep 2014 09:09 CEST
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Diederode, near the university town, boasts the world's only living sheep-goat hybrid, which is now the object of study by scientists.

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Goats and sheep belong to the same sub-family of species, the Caprinae, but almost never produce offspring together.

Livestock researcher Professor Christoph Knorr of Göttingen University told Focus that a cross between the two species is an extremely rare case.

The animal in Diederode is the only one in the world which has been confirmed by scientists to be a true hybrid.

Sheep farmer Dirk Pieper called it “Dwarf” as it was so small, he told the Göttinger Tageblatt.

“It only listens to its name when it wants milk, though.”

Pieper noticed something different as soon as Dwarf was born in March this year.

“You can clearly see it's not a normal lamb,” he said. “The head looks more like a goat's, it's small and the ears are high up.” Dwarf's coat is more like goat hide than sheep's wool.

Pieper's goats and sheep spend the whole summer together and romantic trysts inevitably happen, but “it's never come to an end product before,” Pieper said.

The sheep farmer had to feed Dwarf with a bottle during his first few days as he was too weak to nurse.

"Now he's bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, jumping around and enjoying life.”



DPA/The Local 2014/09/05 09:09

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