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Quintuplet birth takes sheep breeder by surprise
By ČTK / Published 24 January 2008
The Romanov family: Mother and quintuplets.
The Romanov family: Mother and quintuplets.

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Petrovice, South Moravia, Jan 23 (CTK) - Local farming company breeders were taken by surprise when quintuplets were born to a sheep in their herd earlier this week, Jiri Hosek from the company told CTK today.

The Zemspol company renewed pasturage in the Moravian Karst area in 2005, using EU subsidies. Its sheep herd has gradually increased to include 150 heads now.

Hosek said the sheep is the Romanov species which is extraordinarily fertile, delivering three young on average.

"The birth of quintuplets, however, is quite unusual," he added.

The five siblings comprise four males and a female. All of them are reportedly doing well.

Sheep are immensely important for the preservation of the Moravian Karst's typical landscape. They graze unwelcome bushes and their sharp hooves help aerate the land they walk on.

This enables the survival of a number of rare plants that would otherwise disappear from the Moravian Karst.

Zemspol kept some 2,000 sheep until 1995 but it dropped the business as demand for sheep wool and mutton declined.

It was environmentalists who called for the pasturage renewal. Most recently the sheep have become a tourist attraction.

Zemspol also sells lambs mainly to private keepers who use them to graze the grass on their plots.

This story is from the Czech News Agency (ČTK).
The Prague Daily Monitor and Monitor CE are not responsible for its content.
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