A tiny 20-inch tall cow thought to be the world’s smallest has drawn thousands of visitors defying coronavirus restrictions to a remote farm in Bangladesh.
23-month-old Rani, a Bhutanese cow that suffers from dwarfism, has become an unlikely celebrity over lockdown.
Despite nationwide transport restrictions amid record highs of Covid infections, thousands have travelled in rickshaws to see the tiny animal at Shikor Agro farm in Charigram, 19 miles from Dhaka.
Owner M.A. Hasan Howlader believes the cow is likely to be the world’s shortest bovine.
The current world record belongs to a Vechur cow named Manikyam from the Indian state of Kerala, which measures 61.1 centimetres (24.1 in) from the hoof to the withers.
Rani is a Bhutanese cow breed from the same subspecies as Manikyam. Bos taurus indicus, also known as zebu, is native to the Indian sub-continent and known for its humped shoulders and drooping ears.
Speaking about the animal’s overnight popularity, the farm manager said: “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.”
Sajedul Islam, the government’s chief vet for the region, said Rani is a product of genetic inbreeding and unlikely to become any bigger.
Islam said he had told the farm to restrict the tourist influx.
“I told them they should not allow so many people to crowd the farm.
“They may carry diseases here that threaten Rani’s health,” he said.
Howlader reported on 7th July that over 15,000 people had come to see Rani in the past three days alone after local newspapers and television channels reported on it.
Most visitors came to take selfies with the diminutive cow, leading Howlader to admit: “Honestly speaking, we are tired.”
But the owner has submitted Rani for consideration to Guinness World Record adjudicators as he believes the cow to be the shortest in the world.
Guinness World Records have reportedly promised a decision within 90 days.