When you think of sheep, what comes to mind? Fluffy cute farm animals surrounded by their little lambs bouncing around the field, right?
A village in South Africa had quite a shock when a sheep gave birth this week to what is being described as a ‘half-human half-beast’ creature that was ‘sent by the devil.’
If you think that is an extreme description just check out the photos…
Many of the 4,000 villagers of Lady Frere, in the Eastern province of South Africa, were convinced that witchcraft and bestiality were involved in the birth of the creature.
As panic grew and grew, the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development were forced to send out experts to carry out some tests on the unfortunate creature.
Chief Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Lubabalo Mrwebi, confirmed that while the lamb may seem to be part human, it was not.
We can confirm this not a hoax photo but that the severely deformed lamb was born by a sheep in Lady Frere this week which at a glance resembles a human form.
It is not however human but a deformed stillborn lamb sired by a sheep and was subsequently infected by a Rift Valley Fever at an early stage of its pregnancy.
The deformed lamb exhibits signs that are consistent with an early foetal development that went wrong as a result of a viral infection and nothing more.
Dr Mwebi added it is likely that the lamb was conceived between late December 2016 and early January 2017.
During this period there was heavy rainfall which brought mosquitoes and midges which carry viruses that cause the Rift Valley Fever in sheep.
Dr Mwebi concluded:
It is fair to assume, therefore, that the sheep was infected by the RVF virus.
The resultant circulation of the virus in the blood found its way through the maternal blood into the uterus and the foetus, which was at a very critical stage of development.
The infected foetus then, as a result, failed to form properly, leading to the deformity that it became.
We call on the local community not to panic over this deformed lamb.
So it looks like the ‘supernatural’ panic is over but still…
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.