A dog breeder was baffled when two puppies in Spain were recently born with green fur.
The animals were smaller and weaker than their siblings, and unfortunately, the female did not survive. But the male puppy is still alive, although he is weak, the Daily Mail reports.
"I couldn't believe it when I first saw them," owner Aida Vallelado Molina told The Local.
"I thought the puppies were maybe dirty somehow, and I tried to clean them, but the color wouldn't come off and then I realized it was the color of their fur,” added Molina, who breeds hunting dogs with her father Manuel Vallelado, 52, in Laguna de Duero.
She said her father had called the puppies the Hulk pups, and joked that she should not get them angry.
The surviving male is now starting to lose his pigment.
Veterinarian Daniel Valverde is conducting virological and bacteriological tests to determine the cause of death of the female puppy and the dogs’ color.
“There are no other recorded cases of this happening in Spanish scientific literature,” he said.
However, this is not the first time green puppies have ever been born. In 2012, the Daily Mail ran a story on a green puppy named “The Hulk” who was born in England with a green hue that it lost after 10 days.
Research suggested that the coloring was due to exposure to biliverdin, a green bile pigment which can be found in the placenta.
In 2008, a puppy born at a New Orleans animal shelter also had this rare condition, the Daily Mirror reports.
"Sometimes, when a puppy is born, the amniotic fluid mixes with the placenta and dyes the coat of the puppy and it almost always happens to very light colored puppies,” said Anna Zorrilla from Louisiana SPCA. “There are not health concerns - it's really just a discoloration in the birthing process.”
(Photos via the Daily Mail)