On the last Monday of March 25th, officials from Guinness World Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not arrived in Davidson to confirm the birth of a three-headed calf.
On Gordoп Willпer’s farm just west of Davidson, a tricephalic red Angus cross calf entered the world at 2 a.m., weighing 113 pounds. What had been an ordinary day during calving season quickly turned momentous. The expectant cow had been under close observation, her due date approaching with unexpected developments.
In a bid to assist, Willпer reached into the cow and discovered not one, but two additional heads. Recognizing the complexity of the situation, he sought help from Dr. Olaf Lipro, a large animal veterinary medicine resident at the University of Saskatchewan. After conducting an investigation, Lipro determined that a cesarean section was necessary due to the lack of progress. Though it was his first time performing a cow emergency C-section, Lipro remained optimistic, given his recent success with a pug’s difficult delivery.
With local anesthesia administered, Lipro undertook the surgery, adhering to textbook procedures. However, extracting the calf proved more challenging than anticipated. The calf resisted, forcing Lipro to summon all his strength to finally free it. To his astonishment, what he initially believed to be one calf of a twin set turned out to be a three-headed calf as he drew it from the uterus.
Lipro admitted to being taken aback, having only heard of two-headed calves before. He was compelled to document the unusual birth on social media, though his focus quickly returned to ensuring the calf’s survival. The calf’s three airways required careful examination and clearing, with one head displaying signs of distress. Employing a unique technique involving a Tim Hortons Iced Capp straw, Lipro skillfully cleaned the troublesome amniotic fluid from the calf’s nose.
In the days that followed, the calf’s struggle to stand led to bottle feeding and colostrum tube feeding. The calf eventually managed to stand on its own by the third day. Lipro remained cautiously optimistic about the calf’s prognosis, though he acknowledged the challenges inherent in the calf’s condition.
The news of the three-headed calf spread, attracting the attention of Guinness World Records and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, prompting Lipro’s realization that his ego had gotten the best of him. He expressed regrets for the attention his actions brought to the Willper property. Nevertheless, he saw potential in the event as a unique thesis topic for his PhD under Dr. Newt Scamander at the College of Large and Unusual Animals in veterinary medicine.