A farmer in the United Kingdom has been forced to kill off his “Nazi” cattle after the beasts proved too aggressive to be safely raised, the BBC reports.
The Nazi label is no joke: The extinguished cows were Heck cattle, part of a breed created in 1930s Germany. Brothers Lionel and Heinz Heck mixed together Spanish fighting bulls, Scottish highland cattle and other breeds in an effort to resurrect the aurochs, a now-extinct breed of wild cattle that roamed Europe in pre-modern times and features heavily in Germanic folklore. Heck cows are known for their aggression, larger horns and shaggy coats. The breeding effort won the support of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, but after the war the association was toxic and all but a handful of the cattle were destroyed.
A few survived, however, and farmer Derek Gow said that he imported some from Belgium to serve as a unique addition to his collection of rare breeds. However, the animals proved so ferocious that he had no choice but to kill all but six of them.
“With the original group, you simply couldn’t walk through the fields. Some of the individuals were very aggressive,” Gow told the BBC. “No matter where they were, they would come over and try to kill you.”
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