| 12.3°C Dublin

Here's Hopalong Cassidy - the calf born with three legs

Close

Cattle Farmer David Cregan with the calf

Cattle Farmer David Cregan with the calf

Cattle Farmer David Cregan with the calf

HE is a one-in-10,000 little miracle.

Now Cassidy the three-legged calf has become a minor celebrity on the west-Cork farm where he was delivered.

The male Friesian calf was born last week on David Cregan's Church Cross farm outside Skibbereen.

David was astounded to realise, as the bull calf was being delivered, that he was missing his front right leg.

Initially he thought the leg might have been folded back on itself but David then realised there was no limb.

But, in every other way, Cassidy was a fit and healthy little calf.

"It is very unusual. I never saw anything like it before. In fact, I hadn't even heard of anything like it around here before," he said.

David, a progressive farmer who operates a holding at Ardralla, took extra care of Cassidy who earned his nickname from David's wife and local children who were enthralled at the little calf as it sped around the field on three legs.

The calf has suckled well and has been thriving since his birth.

He is now able to roam around the field after his mother, though he is not as fast or mobile as other calves.

unusual

David is now the focus of a lobbying campaign for Cassidy to be kept as a pet.

Cassidy has become a local celebrity with children calling to the Cregan farm and asking can they see the little calf.

The three-legged calf is so unusual that even local vet, Fachtna Collins, hadn't experienced such a delivery locally.

"In my career I've not seen anything like it before around here," he admitted.

The rarest birth defects involve an animal's legs.

But a three-legged calf was born in April 2011 in Donegal.

That calf was born on the Vance family farm near Raphoe.

Kenneth Vance, whose family has been farming in the area since the early 1800s, said: "It is not that unusual to hear of abnormalities but this is different."

The shorthorn cross weighed in at just over 50kg and was missing its front left leg.

"The kids nicknamed him Paul after the alien film that was out in the cinema," Mr Vance said.

hnews@herald.ie

Online Editors