Star, the three-legged lamb, could become the UK’s first bionic sheep.
Huddersfield vet Matt Smith is working with a company in the United States to provide the hop-a-long sheep with a prosthetic leg.
Star was born a year ago with a deformity and now lives at Millington’s Magical Barn, a sanctuary for rescued animals in Thornhill, Dewsbury.
Star is now under the care of TV vet Matt, of Huddersfield-based Donaldson’s, and her journey is being filmed as part of the popular Channel 5 series The Yorkshire Vet.
Jake Ratcliffe, 30, who runs the sanctuary, said: “Star was born with no hoof and hock, just a stump. On the farm she started to get left behind by her mother.
“Fortunately, her disability has saved her life and the farmer’s wife asked us to take her. The limb had degraded and a decision was taken to amputate below the hock and now, finally, Star is back out in the field.”
A cast has been taken of Star’s stump and a mould has been sent to Bionic Pets in Virginia, USA, which specialises in making prosthetics for animals.
“This has been done in America for goats but no-one has heard of it happening in the UK for sheep,” said Jake. “This is possibly the first one, and it’s all being filmed for The Yorkshire Vet.
“Hopefully Star will be walking on four legs again in two or three months. She could be a little record breaker.”
Millington’s Magical Barn, set up in 2018, is home to a variety of animals. There’s Sunshine, a deaf and blind sheep; Bobby the pig rescued by police having been abandoned on the M62; and calves Ernie and Albert, who were rescued at just a day old and had to be bottle-fed.
Truffles the pig and Chester the lamb are also in Jake’s care along with alpacas, donkeys, goats and hens.
Jake completed a 24-hour run from Newcastle back to the sanctuary to raise £12,000 towards upkeep and running costs. You can donate HERE.