A huge steer in Western Australia has been given a reprieve from the slaughterhouse for being too darned big.
Meet Knickers, the black-and-white Holstein Friesian near Perth, Australia who weighs more than some small cars. This steer is freakin’ huge at 6-foot, 4-inches tall and weighing over 3,000 lbs. To put that into perspective, that’s more than a Nissan Juke crossover or a Ford Focus hatchback.
Knickers became famous on social media after several photos were taken of him next to his herd of brown wagyu cattle. He stood head, shoulders, and even most of his torso above the other cattle next to him, which naturally prompted some exclamations regarding his size, religion, and the fact he’s a bovine.
What was that colloquialism? “Venerated bull?” “Divine oxen?” Eh, it’ll come eventually.
If you’re wondering how Knickers got to be so big, well, so is his owner, Geoff Pearson. He didn’t do anything different other than let the little guy keep growing, which he did for several years and appears to still be getting bigger to this day.
Normally a steer would be slaughtered when they reach their full size of around 1,600 lbs, but Knickers just kept going. Now Pearson says he’s simply too big and heavy to even fit through the slaughterhouse’s front door.
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But why is Knickers so big? According to celebrity vet Dr. Chris Brown, Knickers might have a medical condition.
"Gigantism, caused by the continued secretion of growth hormone by the pituitary gland, leads to characteristic big feet, jaws, and foreheads as well as continuous growth," Brown told the Daily Mail in Australia. Gigantism unfortunately also tends to shorten lifespans as the body continues to grow beyond the size that it can sustain itself.
If they’re not eaten before then, a cow can sometimes live to the ripe old age of 25. Knickers is thus far doing just fine at age 7 despite his size, so here’s hoping that he has many more years left to graze peacefully at Pearson's farm.