A farmer was horrified to find a mouth with teeth and saliva growing in the ear of a mutant sheep he was shearing – and it even had a swallow reflex.
Stockbreeder Ali Duman was shearing sheep at his farm in the Beyler quarter of Islahiye district, in the Gaziantep province of south-central Turkey.
He said: “I started trimming the sheep. After I finished a couple of them, I started trimming the next one and I thought that I accidentally cut the ear of the sheep.
“However when I checked the ear closely I realised it was a mouth. I was very scared. I started shaking. This is the first time I have seen such a thing.”
A vet he called said he had never seen anything like it either.
Vet Yusuf Yildiz examined the sheep and said that the partially formed mouth in the sheep’s ear had teeth, was producing saliva and even had a swallow reflex, though it was of course not connected to the animal’s digestive tract.
The birth defect merited more investigation, he added.
He said: “We encountered a great abnormality on the left ear of the sheep. This is the first time I have seen such a case. The animal produces spit from here, it gulps and has teeth in the mouth. It has a serious spit secretion.
“However I don’t think it can eat anything with that mouth. We were excited to see it but the owner was scared. It is not a good situation. The mother could have eaten chemicals during the pregnancy.
“Or it might have had contact with radiation or hormonal medicines. This should be seriously investigated.”
Owner Ali Duman said that he was not planning to sell or slaughter the sheep until experts find out what caused its abnormality.