Legs-a-seven newborn

Last updated 00:00 02/08/2007
Ashburton Guardian
RARE LAMB: This lamb was born on Friday with seven legs.

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A three-day-old lamb at Canterbury Vets' Methven surgery bleats for its feed just like any other newly born sheep. But this one has seven legs.

Two of the legs hang useless behind the lamb's forelegs. The lamb has three rear legs, one of these with two hoofs. It walks using its two forelegs and three hind legs.

The lamb was born on Friday on the farm of Dave and Di Callaghan.

Dave Callaghan said he was surprised to find the seven-legged creature, one of a twin, walking around in his paddock with its mother and sibling on Friday.

"I have never seen anything like that," he said.

Canterbury Vets veterinarian Steve Williams said he believed a misprint in embryo formation had resulted in the lamb being polydactyl – with many legs – occurring once in several million sheep.

Williams said the lamb was also hermaphrodite, and was missing a portion of its bowel so was unable to pass faeces and so would have to be destroyed.

"To keep it alive is probably inhumane really," Williams said. –Ashburton Guardian

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