Birth of ‘half-human, half-devil’ lamb strikes fear in villagers

THE birth of a "half-human, half-devil" lamb has struck fear in the villagers of Chris Hani District Municipality in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. They have accused each other of "dabbling in witchcraft".

They believed a sheep "has given birth to a demon" after almost human-looking creature was born with hooves and pink skin this week, the Metro of UK reported.

Then there were suggestions that the lamb was a product of the sheep being injected with human sperm.

Chief Director of Veterinary Services at the Eastern Cape Department of Rural Development, Dr Lubabalo Mrwebi, said tests confirmed the foetus was a lamb.

"We would like to confirm that the severely deformed lamb that was born to a sheep in Lady Frere this week," the Metro quoted Mrwebi as saying.

"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."

The Metro reported Mrwebi as saying the ewe became pregnant at a time when there was heavy rainfall and therefore plenty of moisture for mosquitoes known to be the vectors of the virus.

The swollen head was a result of the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the brain cavity – a condition referred to as hydranencephaly, he added.