A rare mating of a wild moose and a mare likely resulted in the birth of a funny-looking colt with a big head and long legs, a rancher in Canada's Quebec province said yesterday.
But veterinarians are conducting tests to confirm his claim.
Bambi, born 11 weeks ago in the Gaspe Peninsula after a mysterious conception, has the head of a moose atop a horse frame, Francois Larocque told reporters.
"It's not an ordinary colt," he said.
He told Le Soleil newspaper: "When the mare gave birth, my sisters said: `It has a moose head.'"
Passers-by spotted more similarities to a moose in the foal: Bambi has elongated legs, likes to hang out in a nearby forest where moose typically venture, and sleeps lying down instead of upright like a horse, Larocque said.
A front-page headline in the newspaper La Presse quipped: "Is Bambi a hoose or a morse?"
But Gilles Landry, a biologist with Quebec's parks and wildlife department, remains skeptical.
"I have serious doubts because there has never been a birth from a moose and a horse reported, even though some have mated," he said. "It's more likely that it's a deformed animal."
The rancher insists he sterilized his only two stallions a month prior to Bambi's conception and there are no other male horses in the region, and only a few moose in a nearby wildlife reserve.
Veterinarians plan to carry out tests to check Bambi's genetic profile.
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