South East Wales

Newport farm park owner baffled by white Highland calf

Owner Phil Scrivens with white calf and brown parent
Image caption The white calf has become a star attraction at the park, says Mr Scrivens

The owner of a south Wales farm park says he is baffled by the birth of a white calf in a family of brown cattle.

The week-old Highland creamy white calf's parents and three siblings are all the traditional rusty brown colour.

Experts say the female calf is extremely rare and the result of a genetic throwback from ancient generations of the breed.

Owner Phil Scrivens, 65, of Walnut Tree Farm Park, near Newport, said: "I've never seen anything like it."

Mr Scrivens, a farmer for 50 years, added: "I've seen black ones and brown ones but never white - from a distance it looks more like a sheep."

The animal has become a star attraction at the park.

Image caption The white calf's siblings are all the breed's traditional brown colour

Mr Scrivens said: "People have been queueing around the block to see her."

Visitors are being asked to come up with a name for the calf - so far the favourites are Snowy, Chalky and Snowdrop.

A spokesman for the Highland Cattle Society said two dark-haired parents producing a white calf is "extremely unlikely".

He said: "You don't see many white Highlanders because the white gene is recessive. For two reds to have a white calf is extremely unlikely and incredibly rare.

"Somewhere along the bloodline there must be a link with the white gene.

"It probably goes back a long way, and with each passing generation you are adding up the odds of it happening. It's really quite unusual when it does."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites