GREENSBURG — Be it a horse named Bill, a lion named Savannah, a cow name Five(O), or a kangaroo called Uluru, Jim Stapp loves them all.
Stapp’s not-for-profit animal sanctuary – Circle S Ranch – located on the outskirts of Greensburg, has grown significantly in the last year or so, with the animals above comprising but a small portion of the residents he’s recently welcomed to the facility.
Stapp was kind enough to provide the Daily News with a tour of Circle S Saturday afternoon and introduce this reporter to some of his latest additions.
Five(O) is probably the most noteworthy bovine Stapp has ever welcomed to Circle S. Donated by local farmers Danny and Elaine Ortman, visitors to the ranch may at first feel a twinge of pity for this calf. Five(O) was born with a fifth leg growing from near her shoulder blades just above her neck. According to Elaine Ortman, the extra appendage once belonged to a sibling with whom Five(O) shared the womb. That sibling didn’t live, but left a part of itself growing out of Five(O) to be remembered by for all time.
So why not feel pity for the deformed calf?
According to Danny Ortman, the extra leg saved Five(O) from the slaughterhouse. “The processors were going to charge us extra to take her,” he said.
The couple also considered donating the animal to Purdue University for research, but in the end decided to give her to Stapp. “We thought it [donating the calf to Circle S] would be a good thing to do for the community,” Elaine Ortman said.
Stapp concurred. “We hope she’ll grow old here,” he said.
Since her arrival at Circle S, Five(O) has been paired with a Belgium horse named Bill. Bill is another fairly recent addition to Circle S. Bill was a competition pulling horse who, after developing arthritis, was forced into retirement. While the muscle-bound, oversized equestrian paints quite a contrast next to Five(O), Stapp said the pair get along famously.