Headline-grabbing supposedly homosexual bull 'definitely not gay'

Benjy with cows at home Image copyright Hillside Animal Sanctuary
Image caption Thanks to the charitable donations, Benjy has been given a new lease of life at his new home in Norfolk

A "gay" bull saved from slaughter and re-homed in Norfolk has surprised his new owners by trying to mate with cows.

A campaign - backed by the late Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon - was launched to save Benjy after he showed little interest in the opposite sex.

Since starting life at Hillside Animal Sanctuary, in Norfolk, he has been castrated and his outlook has changed.

Wendy Valentine said: "Judging by what he was trying to do the other day with one of the cows... he isn't gay."

Benjy's story first hit the headlines when his owner revealed he was not fulfilling his role at his home in County Mayo, Ireland.

His story was picked up by an animal rights group and an online gay daily magazine. A campaign to buy him and give him a new home at the Hillside Sanctuary in Frettenham, Norfolk, followed.

Image caption One-year-old Alex helped calm Benjy who was slightly "stressed" after his long trip

In under a week the campaign raised over £9,000, including a £5,000 donation from Sam Simon, co-creator of the TV cult cartoon The Simpsons.

Mr Simon, who died in March, donated to several projects to rescue animals from cruelty.

"It thrills me to know that his fate is a sanctuary rather than a sandwich," he said before his death.

Now in Norfolk, amongst half a dozen Norfolk cows, Benjy is living a completely different life.

He is showing a distinct interest in the cows he has been put with by workers at the Norfolk-based charity, said Ms Valentine.

She said Benjy's assumed sexuality had saved him.

"Benjy came to us because somebody thought he was gay. We don't know whether or not he is but the fact that someone thought he was has certainly saved his life and stopped him being sent to the slaughterhouse," she said.

"Since he's been with us he's matured. He's very content.

"He's a large, gentle animal, he's lovely and he's a very handsome boy, but a big gentle softie."

Image caption On arrival last December Benjy spent a few days in isolation, but within sight of the others for company

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