The Holstein calf was born in Australia with a smiley face on one side of his body, a result of the naturally random black and white markings typical of their breed. He became a media star and helped save a hospital.
“We’ve seen some number sevens or love hearts on the head, and a few strange markings, but we’ve never seen anything that resembles a smiley face before,” Megan Coster told ABC Australia.
Upon finding Happy, Megan's husband, Barry, snapped a picture and sent it to her. At first, she suspected the calf was a victim of graffiti. “I couldn’t believe it - I actually zoomed in at first to make sure that none of our workers had added some extra lines or anything,” she added.
Happy is what is known in the Australian dairy industry as a “bobby calf” meaning one that is surplus to requirements for replacing the existing stock. Rather than joining the mating bull herd, Happy’s unique markings initially landed him a role on the farm in perpetuity, as many of Barry Coster's workers were keen to have him around as a kind of mascot.
However, news of Happy's "unbelievable" markings soon spread and the Costers were inundated with media requests. As a result, offers to buy Happy poured in too. Eventually, the Costers accepted an offer of $10,000 for the calf to enjoy the rest of his days at Farm World and have donated the sum to the West Gippsland Hospital, which is being redeveloped after years of neglect.
So, now, everyone's happy.
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