WORLD'S OLDEST COW TO VISIT TAXIDERMIST

Published: Friday, Dec. 31 1993 12:00 a.m. MST

Big Bertha, the world's oldest cow, has died at age 49.

The Guinness Book of Records says Big Bertha was born on March 17 - St. Patrick's Day - 1944. It lists her not only as the world's oldest cow but also as world holder of the lifetime breeding record for cattle, with 39 calves.Farmer Jerome O'Leary bought her at a cattle fair 47 years ago and kept her at his farm near the market town of Kenmare in County Kerry in southwest Ireland. O'Leary said Big Bertha fell sick five weeks ago and died on the farm Sunday.

"We did everything we could for her and are sorry that she could not make her 50th birthday on St. Patrick's Day next year," he was quoted as saying by the Irish Independent newspaper.

Because of her age, Big Bertha was a celebrity in recent years at cattle shows, where her appearances helped raise more than $75,000 for cancer research and other charitable causes.

O'Leary said her body has been sent to a taxidermist to be stuffed for more fund-raising across Ireland.

O'Leary still has several of her offspring in his herd. The oldest is 35.

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