This 20-Inch-Tall Cow Could Be the World’s Smallest Ever

Meet Rani, a pint-size bovine in Bangladesh, who has drawn thousands of adoring fans to her farm

dwarf cow
A dwarf cow named Rani stands next to a more normal sized cow on a farm in Bangladesh. MUNIR UZ ZAMAN / AFP via Getty Images

A farm in Bangladesh has produced a cow named Rani that is just 20 inches tall, likely earning her the title of world’s shortest cow, Reuters reports. This beast of the field in miniature weighs in at 57 pounds, and she's so small that farmers can carry her around.

Since news of Rani’s diminutive stature got out, thousands of people have flouted coronavirus restrictions to visit the farm in Charigram that she calls home, reports Maria Luisa Paul of the Washington Post.

“Rani is a craze as she has a high possibility to have her name in the Guinness Book of World Records,” Kazi Mohammed Abu Sufian, who runs a farm in the area, tells the Post in a written message.

This 20-Inch-Tall Cow Could Be the World's Smallest Ever
Rani standing at her home farm, poised to potentially set a world record for world's shortest cow. Kazi Salahuddin Razu / NurPhoto via Getty Images

"Many people are coming from different places to see the mysterious cow, the smallest cow in the world so I also have to be here to see the cow," a visitor named Ranu Begum tells Reuters.

Rani, which means queen in Bengali, is a white Bhutti, or Bhutanese cow, and she's just 23 months old. She is not expected to get any taller, per the Post, though the past year saw Rani gain 15 pounds. If her height can be confirmed, Rani will claim the title of world’s shortest bovine, which is currently held by a 24-inch-tall Vechur cow named Manikyam from India in a record set in 2014.

BBC News reports that farm manager Hasan Howladar purchased Rani last year from another farm and has officially applied to have her certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.

"She doesn't eat much. She eats a small amount of bran and straw twice a day," Howladar tells BBC News. "She likes to roam outside and seems to be happy when we take her in our arms."

Rani also reportedly has some trouble walking, and she's a bit skittish around the other cows at the farm, according to BBC News. As a result, Howladar keeps Rani separate from the rest of the herd.

Dwarfism in cows is the result of a genetic mutation that is often accompanied by health problems and even death in some breeds, according to the Post.

“A lot of times when you see any kind of abnormality that is congenital, then we start looking for other things that are wrong as well,” Joe Armstrong, a vet who specializes in cows at the University of Minnesota, tells the Post. “So, I would be concerned about the heart specifically.” Armstrong adds that Rani’s dwarfism could be a sign of inbreeding and that such animals tend not to live very long.