Changing lives one hug at a time
HE may weigh 600kg and eat 15kg of hay a day but this gentle giant is providing the ultimate shoulder to lean on.
"Nemoo the Grass Puppy" may look like a farm animal to some but the friesian steer is transferring positive energy to people through cow hugging.
Cow hugging has taken off around the world as a form of animal therapy after originating in The Netherlands six years ago.
Nemoo's owner Trish Prendergast adopted the three-year-old steer when he was eight weeks old from the Atherton Tableland and said he had become her best friend.
"I hug him all the time," she said.
"Sometimes he might be lying down in the paddock and I go up and sit with him and give him a hug."
Describing her beloved pet as "spoilt", "cheeky" and "playful", Ms Prendergast is hoping to share Nemoo with Townsville.
"I want to use him to help people with their mental health so if someone is having a hard time, they can come out to the farm and sit with him or hug him or brush him," she said.
"Cow hugging reduces stress and lowers your heart rate."
Ms Prendergast said she was looking to complete an animal therapy course to qualify Nemoo as a therapy animal.
"I want to take him to aged care homes and make people smile like he makes me smile," she said.
"Animals are really the best therapy."
Originally published as Changing lives one hug at a time