The lamb was stillborn
Locals are accusing each other of ‘dabbling in witchcraft’ after a sheep gave birth to a ‘half human, half devil lamb’ this week.
Superstitious villagers in Chris Hani District Municipality, the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, turned on one another when the animal was born.
Some believe the sheep ‘has given birth to a demon’ after a human looking creature was born with hooves and pink skin.
Others have suggested that the image was a hoax – or that the animal was a result of the sheep being injected with human sperm.
But agriculture officials from the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development confirm that the animal was real and the pictures are genuine.
Superstitious villagers believe the sheep gave birth to a demon
In folklore humans with hooves instead of hands and feet are regarded either as devils or fawns
Chief Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Lubabalo Mrwebi, added that tests confimed that the foetus was a lamb – despite its appearance.
He said: ‘We would like to confirm that the severely deformed lamb that was born to a sheep in Lady Frere this week.
‘While at a glance it resembles a human form, it is not human but a deformed stillborn lamb sired by a sheep and subsequently infected by a Rift Valley Fever at an early stage of its pregnancy.
‘It is not uncommon for pregnant animals to be infected by viruses early in their pregnancy.
‘Virus infections in early stages of pregnancy may infect the foetus and lead to the development of malformations in the growing foetus. It is likely that this is what happened to the Lady Frere sheep.
‘We call on the local community not to panic over this deformed lamb.
‘We can confirm that this deformed lamb is not a progeny of sheep ovum and a human sperm.’