Irish News

Saturday 26 July 2014

Is it a pig? Is it a sheep? No, it's a Mangalista

Published 15/01/2014|14:03

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You could call it the mullet of the farm world - pig in the front, sheep in the back.

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One of the world's rarest animals, a mangalista which resembles both a sheep and pig, has been found in Ireland.

Ivan Rumley, owner of Rumley Farms in Cork, which hosts a variety of exotic animals on a farmyard setting, spoke of his excitement at procuring the rare animal, believed to be the first of its kind in Ireland.

"We have an open farm with a lot of animals from camels to monkeys to water buffalos and I've always been endeavouring to find breeds of animals people rarely see," he explained.

"I was purchasing a machine off a gentleman in Carlow, who mentioned he had seen this incredible animal which looked like a sheep with a furry back and tail, and when he turned around, he saw it has the face of a pig."

The unique animal is commonly seen in Hungary, but a rarity in Ireland.

While it may have features of both sheep and pig, there was no funny business behind barn doors and the mangalista is in fact an extremely rare breed of pig.

"In this country, it'd be quite rare. How it got there, we don't know. I'll be collecting it this evening and will be bringing it to my open farm," he said.

"If someone knows who owns it, we'll mind it and give it back to its rightful owner. But if the pig was just dumped or escaped, we will raise it as part of our conservation programme.

"I've been in contact with people in Northern Ireland and I hope get a mate for it to breed if nobody claims it."

"I haven't seen a mangalista before, it's quite exciting."

Mr Rumley explained that his family owned farm is a mix of a farm and zoo.

"We have things you wouldn't normally see," he explained.

"There are ostriches, two camels, all different breeds of monkeys and a little unusual to see these on a farm setting."

Mr Rumley originally got in touch with the Tubridy show on 2fm.

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