Thousands Defy Lockdown, Flock To See Dwarf Cow In Bangladesh
Thousands of people are defying a nationwide coronavirus lockdown in Bangladesh to see Rani, a 51-centimeter (20-inch) tall cow whose owners claim it is the world’s smallest.
The 23-month-old dwarf cow has become a media star with many throwing the spotlight on the tiny cattle at a farm near Dhaka.
Despite a nationwide transport shutdown because of record coronavirus infections and deaths, people are flocking in tricycles to a farm in Charigram, 30 kilometres southwest of Dhaka, to see Rani.
“I have never seen anything like this in my life. Never,” said Rina Begum, 30, who came from a neighboring town.
Rani is 66 centimeters (26 inches) long and weighs only 26 kilograms (57 pounds) but the owners say it is 10 centimeters shorter than the smallest cow in Guinness World Records.
M.A. Hasan Howlader, manager of Shikor Agro farm, used a tape measure to show dozens of onlookers how Rani dwarfs her closest rival Manikyam, a cow in the Indian state, Kerala that currently holds the world record.
“People come long distances despite the coronavirus lockdown. Most want to take selfies with Rani,” Howlader told AFP, adding Guinness World Records had promised a decision in three months.
More than 15,000 people have come to see Rani in the past three days alone. Honestly speaking, we are tired.
The shortest cow, Manikyam, is a Vechur – a breed well known for producing dwarf cows with a maximum height of 90cm.
Manikyam, owned by Ashkay NV, in Kerala, measured 61.1cm from the hoof to the withers when a team from Guinness World Records travelled to Kerala.
Rani is a Bhutti, or Bhutanese, cow which is prized for its meat in Bangladesh. The other Bhuttis on the farm are twice Rani’s size.
Manager of the farm expressed;
We did not expect such huge interest. We did not think people would leave their homes because of the worsening virus situation. But they have come here in droves.
Meanwhile, Sajedul Islam, the government’s chief vet for the region, said Rani is a product of “genetic inbreeding” and was unlikely to become any bigger.
Islam expressed he had told the farm to restrict the tourist influx, stressing;
I told them they should not allow so many people to crowd the farm. They may carry diseases here that threaten Rani’s health.
However, local veterinarian Dr EM Muhammed had told the Guinness team that;
It is hot and particularly humid here, and we believe this has an effect on the height of our cattle. If Vechur cattle are taken elsewhere in the country, over time they increase in height. It’s only in Kerala that they maintain their dwarf stature.