Deformed lamb causes panic in South Africa

Elders in a remote South African village caused panic after a sheep gave birth to a half-lamb-half-human claiming it was witchcraft.

Because of their fear Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development sent experts to carry out tests after pictures of the creature went viral, the Mirror Online reports.

Dr Lubabalo Mrwebi, chief director of veterinary services, said: "We can confirm this is 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."

He also said a sheep has 28 pairs of chromosomes compared to the 23 humans have, and dispelled the myth that sheep and humans can create a viable life form.

A post-mortem examination will take place to help calm the residents who still claim it was created by witchcraft.

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