By Pat Jenkins
The most publicized baby cow in south Pierce County, if not all of Washington and maybe other parts of the world, has moved to greener pastures.
A panda calf, so-called because of its rare markings that make it and the handful of others like it in the world resemble a Chinese panda bear, has been sold by the owner of the Roy farm where they were born last summer.
John Bartheld said Peanut, the name he gave the renowned calf, to a private petting zoo in Roy. The critter will now be a star attraction for children’s birthday parties and other events.
Peanut’s fame will precede him. When he was born June 28, he became one of only 30 to 40 other panda calves known to exist on the planet. He notified the news media, and virtually in two shakes of a cow’s tail, Peanut was a media darling in print, online and television stories. The Associated Press sent accounts of the calf to its member media outlets, who gave it national and international exposure.
“Things just went bananas,” Bartheld said.
The media hubbub died down, and Bartheld’s farm also got quieter when he sold Peanut – then four months old, 25 inches tall and weighing about 225 pounds – in November.
Bartheld also found a buyer in Sammamish for another of his calves that was born last July and had similar, but not as pronounced panda-like markings.
More panda fever may be on the way to Bartheld’s farm. In about six months, three cows are expected to deliver calves. Their tentative due date is June 1. All three were bred to the bull that fathered Peanut, and Bartheld thinks nature may take its spotted course again.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “I know the type of cow and bull it takes to make one of these.”
Peanut was spawned by a mini-Hereford and a mini-American Beltie.
Bartheld has breeds miniature cows. He tried for seven years to produce a panda calf before Peanut made its mark.