Toast of Batswana
A sheep–goat hybrid, also the Toast of Batswana is the hybrid offspring of a sheep and a goat. Although sheep and goats seem similar and can be mated, they belong to different genera. Sheep belong to the genus Ovis and have 54 chromosomes, while goats belong to the genus Capra and have 60 chromosomes. The offspring of a sheep-goat pairing is generally stillborn. Despite widespread shared pasturing of goats and sheep, hybrids are poorly attested, indicating the genetic distance between the two species. They are not to be confused with Geep, which are Chimera.
Toast of Batswana History
At the Botswana Ministry of Agriculture in 2000, a male sheep impregnated a female goat resulting in a live offspring. (Hence the name Toast of Batswana) This hybrid had 57 chromosomes, intermediate between sheep (54) and goats (60) and was intermediate between the two parent species in type. It had a coarse outer coat, a woolly inner coat, long goat-like legs and a heavy sheep-like body. Although infertile, the hybrid had a very active libido, mounting both ewes and nannies even when they were not in heat. This earned the hybrid the name Bemya or rapist. He was castrated when he was 10 months old because he was becoming a nuisance. In 1969, Australian farmer Dick Lanyon, who farmed near Melbourne, Australia, kept a billy goat among his sheep to scare off foxes during the lambing season. In September of the same year, he claimed to have dozens of ‘lambs’ which were sheep-goat hybrids. The goat was locked up while scientists examined the supposed hybrids. As no more was heard of this case, it is believed that the lambs were pure-bred sheep. Sad for Toast of Batswana’s!