Butterfly the Geep Will Make a Comeback in 2020
Petting zoos often feature familiar farm animals like chickens, piglets, sheep and cows; but one Arizona petting zoo recently welcomed something more exotic: butterfly the geep is an unusual half goat/half sheep hybrid born at their petting zoo.
Sheep-goat hybrids are relatively rare animals. Spring Rose was born when her mother, Momma, unexpectedly became pregnant with a lamb. The birth came as a complete shock to those managing the complex who didn’t even realize Momma had become pregnant!
Although goats and sheep might seem similar, they’re actually not related. Both belong to the subfamily Caprinae; sheep belong to Ovine while goats belong to Caprine species. Although they can mate successfully, hybrid offspring often do not survive gestation or live long after. Due to chromosome differences between species, sheep-goat hybrids usually experience very low fertility rates or abort entirely; this particular animal shows all of the signs of health!
The geep has quickly become a social media star, drawing many to see her live at Catherine Murphy’s zoo in order to raise funds for her special needs children and pay off her ranch mortgage. “She is truly miraculous in every sense,” Catherine states: from being conceived through giving birth and finally selling her.
She may be well-known, but it’s her fundraising that’s really made waves. As of this writing, her GoFundMe page has already raised over $46,000 and allowed her to purchase new equipment for the petting zoo and even take a vacation!
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