A little cow is jumping over the moon as it meets the West Cumbrian public for the first time.

The Lake District Wildlife Park, near Keswick, recently welcomed its newest pint-sized resident, Nico the dwarf zebu, and the calf has now moved into his own public enclosure for visitors to say hello to.

Nico belongs to the oldest and smallest breed of cow, and will develop an impressive camel-like hump to store fat when food is scarce as he gets older.

The wildlife park's newest star was born without a suckle reflex, and after his mum's milk had dried up, staff hand-reared him with a bottle.

Nico was then introduced to pellets and grass, and is now becoming more independent by being slowly integrated into the herd.

Head Keeper Vicky Jennings is smitten with the park's baby, and said: "The Dwarf Zebu are one of my favourite animals at the Park. They are so gentle and easy-going, which makes them a big hit with visitors.

"Our new calf is also very cute, and is already interacting well with the people he meets. Children especially are really loving him!"

And visitors can enjoy Nico's cuteness forever, as the dwarf zebu, whose breed is recognised as the sacred cow of India, will only reach the grand height of three and a half feet.

Manager Richard Robinson is thrilled to have Nico meeting the public, and said: "These domesticated animals are lovely beasts, and we are proud to see them breeding at the park.

"Zebu are revered in places like Madagascar, where they are vitally important in everyday life for helping to plough fields and sustain traditional farming methods. So having them here in Cumbria does help to educate people about different ways of life."

He added: "On a practical level, it is also useful for the staff to learn to hand-rear these more docile, domesticated creatures. It means they can build up the experience and knowledge to deal with the rarer and more unpredictable animals as well."