A dwarf bull who was crippled and almost put down after a vicious attack is learning to walk again using a specially made wheelchair.
Duke, who is half the size of an average Hereford bullock, was going to be shot after being badly wounded in an attack by other cows.
Sharon Lawlor, who runs an animal sanctuary, saved him and has spent £10,000 nursing him back to health.
Duke is slowly beginning to walk by himself again thanks to a specially made wheelchair.
Supported on either side by the device with two wheels, similar to stabilisers on a bike, Duke has slowly started getting his confidence back.
The device was made locally using a design to make wheel carts for dogs.
Although for the rather large Duke they had to modify the specifications a bit, Sharon explained.
The two-year-old bovine arrived at the at his new home in Malton, North Yorkshire just four months ago.
Rescuer Sharon, 49, said: “We fell in love with him the moment we saw him.”
“he was destined for death by a bullet if we could not bring him home.
“We think he possibly had a fractured pelvis and neurological damage. We basically had to teach him to walk again.
“He was sick, he couldn’t stand very well. He needed a lot of care. He’s had acupuncture, chiropractors, everything we could possibly do.”
She continued: “We spent five or six hours a day with him at first – basically just standing with him to get used to standing again. We’ve now had a third fitting of his wheel cart. Once he gets his wheels hell be able to walk a bit more. He’s got no confidence, hopefully that will give him confidence.”
£10, 000 may seem a lot to spend prolonging the life of an animal traditionally bred for slaughter but Sharon doesn’t see it that way.
She said: “I know I’ve done the right thing, I only have to look at him to know I’ve done the right thing.
“He’s definitely got quality of life. He’s one of the most affectionate animals I’ve ever come across.
“We’ve become so attached to him he’s like a family member.”
Duke has fitted in well and has been befriended by another farmyard resident – Kevin the lamb.
Sharon added: “Everyone loves him. He’s got a best friend – Kevin the lamb. He came in at about the same time as Duke.
“Duke loves Kevin and Kevin loves Duke. Kevin has even learn to undo to latch [to the Dukes shed].”
Sharon’s partner Warren Evans (45) said: “He’s like a child, it’s the same sort of principle.
“The biggest thing he’s done is to stand up on his own. Were very proud.”
Speaking about the wheel cart Warren explained: “The idea is to get him walking on his own. It will be a long time.”