A man in the town of Badoc in the province of Ilocos Norte got the shock of his life when he woke up one morning and found out that one of the five sheep he owns has given birth to a one-eyed lamb. The owner of the animals, Nestor Aganon who currently lives in barangay Mabusag Norte, told ABS-CBN News Ilocos that the white lamb was born around five in the morning of October 21, 2014.
The condition is a congenital disorder referred to as cyclopia. It's characterized by what looks like a single eye low on the head of the newborn. In the case of the lamb in Ilocos Norte, it's a different type of cyclopia as the animal has two irises but the eyes have failed to separate and develop properly.
Cyclopia is caused by genetic problems or toxins. A toxin that's a common culprit with regards to cyclopia among animals is cyclopamine. This toxin is produced by the plant Veratrum californicum (corn lily). This plant can be found in the mountain meadows of North America. Unless this plant is also available in Ilocos Norte in the Philippines, the culprit that caused the newborn lamb's birth defect is probably genetic problems.
Cyclopia has been documented in other farm animals like horses, pigs, and even chickens. The most well-known incidence of cyclopia is when it struck several lambs in a farm in the state of Idaho in the United States. The US Department of Agriculture conducted an 11-year investigation into the matter which led to the discovery of cyclopamine in corn lily as the cause of the birth defects in the lambs.
|The one-eyed lamb born in Ilocos Norte. Photo by Bombo Radyo Laoag.|
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