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Calf with just back legs hops around farm ‘like a kangaroo’ and rejected by mum

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A calf born in Brazil with just its two hind legs hops around a rural farm "like a kangaroo" after it was rejected by its mother.

The just over two-week-old old cow was born on a farm in the locality of Jurema Velha, in Banabuiú, in the interior of Ceará, Brazil, and was immediately rejected by its mother.

But it was gleefully accepted by farmers, who after initially being scared, were impressed by the young animal's ability to adapt to its genetic mutation.

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Sebastião Firmo, the 58-year-old farmer who owns the youngster, said he and his family were scared when they saw the calf, but they are taking care of her.

Since it lacks front legs, it has little support and needs to be bottle-fed. Diario do Nordeste in Brazil said the animal looks like "a kangaroo".

The farmer said the calf was its mother's first offspring. The two are in separate pens.

Veterinarian Airton Alencar de Araújo, professor at the State University of Ceará, said the calf was born with a condition called agenesis.

The condition occurs when the offspring does not have the right genes for the organs to develop.

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"It's the lack of limb formation. Probably the mother could have been contaminated by a virus or toxic substances. It could also be a genetic and consanguine issue. These are factors that influence the expression of genes," explained the professor.

He added the animal is still likely to have a full life, but will of course be dependent on help.

Araújo added it's normal that the calf's mother rejected her because it makes a kind of "natural selection" of her offspring. As the calf was born without two legs, it is considered weaker.

A similar case happened in the same state in 2010, when the family of rancher Francisco Almir Frutuoso Severo saw a calf born without front legs.

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