“Gay” bull saved from slaughter may not be gay after all

Benjy. Photo : PETA/PA Wire

Benjy. Photo : PETA/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A 'gay' bull saved from slaughter after an international campaign aided by the late Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon may have an eye for the heifers after all, his new owner has revealed.

Charolais Benjy was being fattened for the butcher in Co Mayo, Ireland, last November after his farmer owner complained he was not sexually interested in cows.

A fundraising drive was launched to save him and Hollywood producer Mr Simon, who was also behind Cheers and Taxi, stumped up the £5,000 needed to buy him.

But the move to Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham, north of Norwich, to 'live out his natural life with peace and dignity' appears to have stimulated previously buried feelings in Benjy.

The sanctuary's founder Wendy Valentine told the BBC: 'Judging by what he was trying to do the other day with one of the cows... he isn't gay.'

Mr Simon, a life-long vegan, died in March after battling cancer. After being given a terminal diagnosis he had vowed to use his 100 million dollar (£64 million) fortune to help animal causes before he died.

After paying for Benjy's move he said he felt compelled to act and was thrilled that Benjy's fate was now 'a sanctuary rather than a sandwich'.

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'All animals have a dire destiny in the meat trade, but to kill this bull because he's gay would've been a double tragedy,' he said last November.

More than 250 others also contributed towards the cause through a crowd-funding scheme set up by Irish animal-protection group Aran and TheGayUK.com.

Ms Valentine told the BBC: 'Benjy came to us because somebody thought he was gay. We don't know whether or not he is but the fact that someone thought he was has certainly saved his life and stopped him being sent to the slaughterhouse.

'Since he's been with us he's matured. He's very content. He's a large, gentle animal, he's lovely and he's a very handsome boy, but a big gentle softie.'