A Florida farmer was shocked to discover that her cow had given birth to a rare two-headed calf. The calf, named Annabel, was born Monday in the middle of a field that belongs to the family of Carolyn Crews of Glen Saint Mary, in Baker County, Florida.
Crews told First Coast News that since Annabel was born, she feeds her four times a day although she does not believe the calf will survive.
“I don’t think it was meant to be for something like this to live. You know, I don’t think she’s going to make it.”
Crews consulted a veterinarian who told her there was nothing he could do to help Annabel and that she would likely die soon.
Annabel is too weak to get up and walk to feed from her mother and her head is too heavy for her fragile neck and body. According to Crews, Annabel’s breathing is labored. Vets said it was likely that Annabel was suffering from pneumonia.
“It was just like a surprise because no one has even seen anything like this around here,” Crews told First Coast News.
Experts term the condition of having two or more heads polycephaly. A polycephalic animal with two heads is described as bicephalic while one with three heads is described as tricephalic.
The condition features often in traditional legends, myths and folktales, and because of its novelty people tend to believe it has supernatural causes.
However, the cause of the condition is the same as conjoined twins — incomplete splitting of an embryo forming monozygotic twins.
The condition of polycephaly is also known in humans, such as the famous case of Abigail and Brittany Hensel, who were considered conjoined twins.
Crews concluded, “I never dreamed of such a thing happening. It’ll be something that we probably never seen in our lifetime.”
[Image: WJXX-TV via NY Daily News]