Funnyman Ricky Gervais has landed the oddest birthday gift ahead of his 48th birthday on Thursday (25Jun09) - a bullock.
Officials at animal rights group PETA Europe have decided to name a cow they rescued in India after the birthday boy - in honour of his love for creatures great and small.
Earlier this year (09), the comedian/actor appeared on TV in the U.S. and launched into a hilarious diatribe against organisations that send cows, chickens and goats to help people in developing countries.
He raged, "The African family's going, 'Not another mouth to feed!' It's ridiculous. There's nothing in it for the goat! The goat wakes up in barren land going, 'Where am I? A week ago I was gambolling through the Cotswolds (England) in glades and then someone just kidnapped me, put me on a boat, took me to Africa '. It's like Roots in reverse!"
PETA bosses found his rant both funny and apt - and they decided to find a way to honour the Brit.
That honour comes in the shape of a 20-year-old bull, which was set for slaughter after working the sugarmill circuit in Sangli, India, for much of its life. The beast of burden, called Ricky, will now live out its days at a sanctuary.
A PETA Europe spokesman says, "Ricky Gervais is a good friend of animals - he recently wrote to U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown to ask him to stop killing Canadian black bears for the Royal Guards' ceremonial hats, and he teamed up with rock star Pink to serve as the voice for one of the characters in a PETA TV spot against exotic-skin handbags and fur coats.
"He very much deserves a birthday honour. We hope he likes his bullock."
Gervais will receive a certificate from PETA Europe, revealling all about his namesake.