Panda Cow: New Breed of Miniature Cow Born

A new breed of miniature cow can be kept as a pet.

ByABC News
January 2, 2011, 11:16 AM

Jan. 2, 2011— -- An extraordinary New Year's Eve newborn brought joy to a northern Colorado family when Chris and Pam Jessen welcomed a rare panda cow to their farm.

The panda cow --an uncommon cross-breed -- was worked on for 44 years by Richard Gradwohl, a Covington, Wash., farmer who used eight different miniature cows to create the new breed. His work brought about Ben, who is the latest addition to the Jessen's Campion, Colo., farm which houses other miniature cattle and a miniature kangaroo.

Ben is one of only 25 panda cows in the world, which are typically kept as pets or show animals.

"Miniatures range from about 44 inches tall on their tail side, on their hocks, but he can get up to 1000 pounds though -- so a pretty good-sized animal," Chris Jessen told "Good Morning America."

Miniature cattle are valued at approximately $25,000, and the Jessens say they do plan to eventually sell Ben, who sat upon Chris Jessen's lap on his living room couch during the "GMA" interview.

"Probably the most amazing thing aside from the fact that he's rar is that he's on the couch right now. Suddenly my lap is starting to get very warm! I don't think he's gonna be on the couch after this again!" Chris Jessen said.