Page last updated at 20:31 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 21:31 UK

Calf from 'Nazi breed' born in UK

Heck cow and calf
The herd will be subjects for nature photographers

A calf in north Devon is thought to be the first of its breed to have been born in Britain.

The Heck calf was born at a farm in Lifton which imported more than a dozen of the animals from Amsterdam as part of a conservation project.

The herd is descended from cattle specifically bred by Nazi scientists between the world wars.

The calf will join the rest of the herd belonging to farmer and nature conservationist Derek Gow.

Himmler's theory

Mr Gow said the animals were bred between World War I and World War II to resemble the extinct ancestors of all cattle, aurochs.

He said: "Julius Caesar described auroch bulls as being as big as an elephant, and they were found here [in Britain] in Roman times."

He said the modern breed had a "bizarre history".

"Their creation was supported by some quite senior members of the Nazi party for two different reasons," he said.

"Goering wanted them to hunt, Himmler wanted them to prove that if you could select a wild animal, a wild cow, you could do the same with people."



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
'Nazi' cattle being bred in UK
26 Apr 09 |  UK
Lonesome beaver remains at large
20 Jan 09 |  Devon


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific