A bull that was branded “gay” after his owner noticed he was shunning cows and attempting to get intimate with his male counterparts was saved from the slaughterhouse last year when campaigners raised the funds needed to buy him and send him to an animal sanctuary.
The crowdfunding campaign, spearheaded by online magazine The Gay UK, attracted international support. Sam Simon, the co-creator of The Simpsons who died in March, stumped up £5,000 to cover the cost of transporting Benjy the bull from County Mayo, Ireland, to the UK.
Benjy was transferred to the Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norwich shortly before Christmas last year. “When he first came here he was a bit disoriented. He jumped over a gate and ran around a field,” said Wendy Valentine, who runs Hillside.
The bull quickly settled in and is now “content” in his new home, according to Ms Valentine.
His previous owner might be surprised to learn that, shortly after his arrival, Benjy began to get close to a group of cows. “He’s got a few girlfriends,” Ms Valentine revealed.
But whether Benjy is bisexual or gay, things are unlikely to be hotting up between him and his new companions, male or female: he was castrated shortly after arriving at Hillside.
Graham Davies, co-founder of The Gay UK, believes Benjy’s sexuality is irrelevant. “Whether he’s happy mixing with cows or bulls, it doesn’t matter. His sexuality is his own business,” he said. “The point is he was labelled as gay and therefore useless.”
Mr Davies added: “People said ‘He’s just a bull, thousands die every day. Why make such a fuss?’ For us it was about saying that just because you’re gay, you’re not useless. That whoever you are, there will always be someone who is on your side.”
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