Earlier this spring, Canadian photographer Jim Petelski recently came across a stunning view – a bull bull with messy shovels. Petelski was shooting pictures of wildlife near Lake Marsh, which is located south of Whitehorse, Yukon, when he came across the creature with strange views.
“When I first saw him, I thought why did a bull have horns at the beginning of the year?” Petelski tells F&S. “When I approached, I thought the shovels were just covered in mud and moss from the swamp. Then I saw that the rest of his head was clean and I was stunned. “I could not believe what I was seeing.”
Moa cows, which usually spread majestically from the top of the bull’s head, instead formed into tumor-like trunks. Petelski, who recently shared with F&S An incredible series of photos of a black bear falling asleep and then dipping its head into an icy pond, shot as many photos of the bull as possible, maintaining a safe distance. He thought maybe the bull had a serious infection, causing the strange increase in driving. Upon returning home, he emailed his images to a friend in the Yukon Department of the Environment.
Six veterinarians from the department’s Animal Infectious Diseases Unit examined the photos and reached a consensus. They believe that the bull is what is known as the “wig bull”, which means that its growth of the paddle is influenced by accidental castration or testicles that are not properly formed. Loss of normal reproductive organs has likely affected the animal’s hormone levels and, in turn, the growth of its horns. Wig bulls, like cactus breads, cannot reproduce, but otherwise tend to be healthy. The bull that Petelski photographed also had an increase in one of his hind legs, presumably caused by a blocked canal gland, which has nothing to do with his unformed horns.
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“I’ve harvested a lot of deer, but I’ve never seen anything like it before,” says Petelski. “And I will certainly never see anything like it again.”