Fri, February 13, 2009
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Baby bull is perfect Valentine gift?

2009-02-11 03:03:49 GMT2009-02-11 11:03:49 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

INTRO: An appeal has been made in Japan to save a baby "Valentine" bull born with a heart-shaped pattern on his forehead from the butcher's shop.

MOREINFO: The two-week-old calf, named "Ha-chan" after the word "heart," was born at a dairy farm 40 kilometres from Tokyo. The farmer noticed the clear, love-heart-shaped pattern on the forehead the morning after he was born. He's now a local celebrity but if no-one can give him a home he will have to be sold for meat.

SCRIPT:

He's just two weeks old but Ha-chan the bull is already a celebrity in Japan.

Hundreds of people have been flocking to see the almost perfect heart-shaped pattern on his forehead.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) KAZUNORI YAMASAKI, DAIRY FARM OWNER, SAYING:

"We may have seen similar patterns on other bodies but it's unprecedented for an exact heart shape to appear on the forehead."

Kazunori Yamasaki owns the dairy farm where Ha-chan was born.

He hopes someone will buy him as a romantic gift for Valentine's Day.

Otherwise he says his days are numbered.

(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) KAZUNORI YAMASAKI, DAIRY FARM OWNER, SAYING:

"This is a baby bull, a male calf, so we can't keep him at this farm. We hope some tourism farm or a zoo will volunteer to take care of him. That'd be the best way to make him happy."

Ha-chan - which means heart - won't have to go to the slaughter house quite yet.

Young bulls are normally sold for meat at the age of two

But if a new owner isn't found before then even cupid will find it hard to protect him.

Sonia Legg, Reuters.

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