It's a bit of a slow news week around Yunnan apparently. Dominating headlines — and conveniently burying a few small-time corruption cases — is the story of a two-legged goat. That's right. The animal, born south of Kunming in Xinping Yi and Dai Autonomous County (新平彝族傣族自治县), has been swept up in a minor media storm, and is fast becoming known internationally.
Dubbed 'Strong' or 'Staunch' Goat (羊坚强) by its owners, the now six-month old kid suffered from a birth defect and was born with his rear legs fused to its torso. Nonetheless, just over a week after birth, it raised itself off the ground for the first time and took a few tentative steps. A few days later Strong Goat could walk and eventually run with his two siblings.
Local veterinarians speculate Strong Goat's mother may have been kicked or butted while pregnant, leading to her offspring's deformity. Regardless, other than causing increasingly common double-takes from visitors, Strong Goat shows no outward signs of any other maladies.
As Strong Goat learned to walk, the family raising him — goat breeders surnamed Li —mentioned the curious situation to friends. Neighbors in the tiny town of Yani (亚尼) in turn began taking selfies and short videos, which perhaps inevitably went viral on Chinese social media and microblogging networks. International news outlets have now picked up the story as well.
The publicity has been well-received by locals and may add a bit of a spark to the local economy. Xinping County — located 180 kilometers southwest of Kunming — is a largely rural portion of Yuxi Prefecture, where more than 80 percent of all residents earn their living through farming. The area is also home to multiple nature reserves and some absolutely stunning vistas, which may get a few more visitors this summer as people stop through to check out Yunnan's newest and perhaps least-likely celebrity.
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