What do you get when you cross a goat and a sheep? A geep, of course.
The extremely rare geep was born five months after a goat mated with a sheep on the farm of Paddy Murphy, a sheep farmer and pub owner who sounds like the most Irish person ever. The geep was first reported by the Irish Farmers Journal after Murphy gave them a call and told them they should check out the special creature that was just born on his farm.
The unusual mating took place during the "tupping" sheep-mating season. It wasn't intentional and Murphy didn't think much of it. Lo and behold, five months later, the young geep appears healthy as any normal lamb. Murphy called it a "pure shock to the system."
The young geep is only a week old, but it is reportedly thriving. Murphy says it’s much faster than any of the lambs he’s seen at that age. It’s reported to be the first healthy geep born in Ireland; most are stillborn or die at birth.
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“He looks like a goat, trapped in a lamb’s body, a Geep I think it's called! He even has horns like a goat and he is very quick on his feet,” said Murphy.
The mother sheep (called an ewe) is taking care of the young geep as if it were any other lamb.
Technically, a geep is a goat-sheep chimera, or an animal with cells from both a sheep and goat. They are produced via embryo manipulation.
The “unusual character,” as Murphy put it, is lucky in more ways than one. Not only is he healthy, but since he’s so rare, Murphy isn’t going to send him off to slaughter. He says he’ll try to keep it as long as he can practically care for it.
Murphy says the geep has been the source of much laughter and conversation at the local pub and hinted he might have a competition to name him that will benefit a sick child in his town.