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Puppy with green fur born in Italy

Puppy born with green fur
Puppy born with green fur in Sardinia 00:42

An Italian farmer welcomed a litter of five dogs earlier this month — and one of the pups stood out among the rest. Cristian Mallocci couldn't believe his eyes when one of them was born with green fur, Reuters reports.

Mallocci's dog, Spelacchia, gave birth to four other dogs with white fur, the same color as hers. Spelacchia is mixed-breed, but that doesn't explain why one of her pups came out with green fur.

The strange pigmentation is believed to occur when pale puppies come in contact with biliverdin in their mother's womb, according to Reuters. Biliverdin is also the pigment that makes bruises to sometimes appear green.

The dog, however, won't always be green. The color will continually fade as the puppy grows and gets older, Reuters reports.

Still, Mallocci, who runs a farm on the island of Sardinia, promptly chose a fitting name for the green dog: Pistachio.

Pistachio the green dog. Cristian Mallocci via Reuters

It is extremely rare for a dog to be born with green fur, but other pups like Pistachio have made headlines before. In 2017, when a green puppy was born in Massachusetts, a young boy with his own rare condition adopted him, CBS Boston reported.

Earlier this year, a green puppy was born outside of Asheville, North Carolina. The dog's family appropriately named him The Hulk, CBS affiliate WNCN-TV reported.

It paid off being the odd one out — the rest of Pistachio's brothers and sisters will be given new homes, while Pistachio will stay on the farm. Mallocci will train Pistachio to look after sheep, just like Spelacchia, Reuters reports. 

Green is a symbol of luck and hope, so it may have been meant to be that the dog could make people smile amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Mallocci said.

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