A calf born with TWO HEADS has stunned farmers in a small village.
The animal was born from a cow who has given birth to three healthy calves in the past.
And it would likely have been dismissed by villagers, they say – had they not seen it with their own eyes.
Farmer Gan Yuanhua said: “I heard the cow shuffling around and making odd noises in the shed, and I knew she was about to give birth.”
From his home in Shaijin Village in Linshui County, in south-west China’s Sichuan Province, he said he initially thought the cow had given birth to twins when he saw the two heads and did not realise immediately that it was a mutation.
The cow, who seemed to be unaffected by the fact that it was deformed, reportedly died shortly after birth.
Pictures from Gan’s farm show him with the two-headed calf.
Xu Kaiwen, a local vet who has been practicing for 30 years, said the calf’s condition was caused by a genetic mutation which has yet to be identified.
The unusual condition of being born with two heads is called polycephaly and occurs in both animals and humans.
The most common cause is that two identical twins begin to form from the same egg, but do not separate correctly and end up sharing the same body.
In the majority of cases, animals and humans with polycephaly die soon after birth.