Fact Check

Did a Woman Give Birth to a Human-Goat Hybrid?

"She continues to insist that Nibbles was her only hope of having a family and a future."

Published Aug. 23, 2016

 (Anna Kucherova / Shutterstock.com)
Image Via Anna Kucherova / Shutterstock.com
A woman who was impregnated by a goat has given birth to a goat-child.

The now-defunct website Taiviral.com claimed in August 2016 that an Alabama woman was impregnated by a goat named Nibbles and gave birth to a goat-human hybrid baby named Nibbles Jr. as the result of the affair. The woman, 22-year-old Janice Gilbert, was supposedly impregnated by the goat after becoming forlorn that her new husband was infertile:

Plenty of people make jokes about the strange things that happen in Alabama, but this one is no joke. A 22-year-old woman, Janice Gilbert, has come forward with her story about her “labor of love.” The woman claims that she has been impregnated by her father’s goat named ‘Nibbles.’ She begins explaining how her fiancé, now husband, is unable to have children, and the heartache it has caused them. She continues to insist that Nibbles was her only hope of having a family and a future.

Other stories appearing on Taiviral.com were clearly hoaxes, including one headlined "21 babies born with the fullest heads of hair you’ve ever seen" that pictured older babies who were clearly not newborns. Bestiality also appeared to be a running theme on the site, with a 23 August 2016 feature about a woman who had sex with a 15-year-old boy and a dog.

In fact, this story had been picked up by Taiviral.com from another junk news site, News4KTLA.com, who first published it in March 2016. Taiviral.com embellished the story by adding a supposed picture of the human-goat baby Nibbles Jr., seen here:


The photograph, which shows what appears to be a fur-covered baby, was apparently taken from a strange story out of Indonesia, not a woman in Alabama. The Singapore-based Straits Times newspaper published a 25 April 2016 piece describing an Indonesian farmer by the name of Ibrahim Basir who discovered that one of his goats had given birth to an oddly-formed kid, but the offspring died shortly after birth. He gave the baby goat to federal authorities so they could figure out why it looked so unusual. Straits Times reported that because of the kid's unusual appearance, Basir had people placing bids to buy the body, which he refused. That April 2016 Straits Times article appeared to be the first time the picture of the goat appeared on the Internet.

For the most part, it is biologically impossible for different species to interbreed with each other, particularly if they come from different genera. One long-standing exceptions are mules, which are the offspring of horses and donkeys. Other similar animals, such as zebras and horses, and lions and tigers, have been known to produce offspring through human manipulation, but these species are closely related, coming from the same genus. Animals that come from completely different genera can't mingle without aggressive scientific manipulation.

It is possible for scientists to create chimeras, or embryos composed of different animal DNA for the purpose of medical research, but this is done under supervision in laboratories and does not occur in nature.

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who has been working in the news industry since 2006.