South West Wales

Cattle in Llandeilo 'rarer than giant panda' under threat

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Media captionA new bull and cows will cost the National Trust £36,000

A campaign has been launched to save a breed of cattle that has roamed a Carmarthenshire park for more than 1,000 years but is now said to be rarer than the giant panda.

The White Park Cattle have been at Dinefwr, near Llandeilo, since 920 and were referenced in laws of Hywel Dda.

But there are now 750 breeding heifers left in the world and the Carmarthenshire herd needs a new bull.

The National Trust has started a campaign to keep the bloodline alive.

Characterised by pure white coats and black noses and ears, the National Trust said the small number of breeding heifers made it rarer than the giant panda.

It cited the World Wildlife Fund figure that there were 1,864 giant pandas left.

Image copyright National Trust/ Huw John

There are 13 White Park Cattle at Dinefwr, but action is needed to stop that number dropping.

"After four years of distinguished service, the current bull, Strelley Bendigo, has maximized his potential within the herd," said Wyn Davies, who looks after them.

"A new male needs to enter the herd to preserve the bloodline and make sure the bulls bred on the land are true to species."

The National Trust is trying to raise £36,000 to buy a new bull and cows.

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