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Geep: A Rare Goat-Sheep Hybrid Born on Irish Farm


Image credit: My Petting Zoo

Petting zoos generally house typical farm animals such as chickens, cows, goats, piglets and sheep. A Petting Zoo located at Scottsdale, Arizona now can offer something unusual to its visitors. That is a baby geep named as Butterfly, which is the hybrid animal– half goat and half sheep.

Being born on July 27 this year, Butterfly’s mother is a sheep. Her father, but her father, Michael, is a pygmy goat.

While goats own 60 chromosomes, sheep have only 54. That is why these hybrids occur quite rarely because of such genetic difference, which is difficult to be realized in reality. Generally speaking it is hard for geep to survive throughout embryonic development. However as for those who are born healthy, they strike a balance with 57 chromosomes.

As a blend from her parents, the features of Butterfly are reflected with her hooves and face similar to her goat father. And like her mother, her whole body is covered in a thick woolen coat.

Up to now, there is some doubt about whether Butterfly is really a geep, or she is just ordinary lamb whose parents come from different sheep species. However, a simple genetic analysis would do in verification of Butterfly’s lineage; it is to be done yet at the moment. If you want to know more about Butterfly, you could follow the  track of her growth via Facebook or Twitter.





Images: My Petting Zoo

Source: BBC News