1983 - Volume #7, Issue #6, Page #20[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Is This A Cow-Moose
Born to a Jersey cow on the Herb and Jean Gilbert farm near Drayton Valley, Alberta, an area where there are lots of moose, the bull calf doesn't look like any calf that ever came out of a Jersey mother and a bovine sire. The calf was born tailless, like a moose, has the beginning of a significant hump, again similar to a moose, and its hair is the same color and texture as a moose.
The Gilberts have three bulls on their farm and they bred the Jersey mother unsuccessfully to all three. They finally gave up and turned her out to pasture. Soon after, Herb saw a bull moose breeding the cow.
"I forgot about the moose until the calf was born. Once I saw it, it was impossible not to see it looked like a moose," Herb told FARM SHOW.
Local veterinarians were called in to investigate and they agreed the calf looked like a cow-moose-cross, even though tests showed that the animal's hair came from the cow family.
However, an animal scientist soon caught wind of the situation and informed the Gilberts that a cow-moose cross is impossible because the animals belong to two different zoological families and have totally different chromosomal make-ups. A moose and a cow cannot crossbreed just as a horse and a cow cannot, the expert said.
Speculation continues, though, among farmers around the small town, fueled by stories of a Jersey cow in another part of Alberta that supposedly mated recently with a whitetail buck deer and came up with a calf that looked just as strange as the Gilbert calf.
The Gilbert's have had lots of offers for the calf but they're hanging on to it. "There will probably never be another one like it," says Herb.
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