EUGENE M. MCCARTHY, PHD GENETICS
The English poet and cleric Thomas Sedgwick Whalley (1746-1828) wrote lengthy descriptions of his travels through Europe. In an account of his journey through Savoy from Allezon to Chambéry during June of 1784, he claims he traveled on a jumart, the alleged hybrid of horse and cow (here referred to as a “jumarre”). The following account is taken from Whalley (1863, vol. I, pp. 133-134): “As I had journeyed thither [i.e. Allezon] on my good little Prieur's own mule, and attended by his own servant, both of which were gone back to Belleveaux, the Prieur of Allezon had
The asterisk in the original text referred to the following footnote:
“* This very remarkable hybrid animal is particularly described in the scarce history of the Vandois Church, settled from time immemorial in three Alpine valleys of Piedmont, published in folio by Jean Leger, the Moderator, in the year 1669. He gives a drawing of the beast and mentions his travelling eighteen leagues through the mountains on one with greater ease than on horseback. The jumarre is a cross between the bull and the horse or the bull and the ass, the head and tail resembling the former, though without horns. As the upper and lower jaws do not meet together, they can only feed where the grass is long enough to be broken off with the tongue. The editor, when he was formerly in the Vaudois valleys, found the animal was still known.”
By the same author: Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World, Oxford University Press (2006).
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