A shocking video has emerged showing a cow born with human-like features in an animal shelter in India.
The calf was born with the eyes, nose and ears that resemble that of a human, while the lower part of its body had features of a cow.
However, the cow died within an hour of its birth yesterday, in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, northern India.
But as soon as the news spread, locals from nearby villages gathered to seek its blessing, believing it to be an avatar of Lord Vishnu, a Hindu God.
The video shows people offering flower garlands and bowing before the dead calf, which has been kept inside a glass box since it died.
Locals believe the calf is the ‘Gokaran’ – 24 incarnations of Lord Vishnu and plans are now afoot to build a temple for him.
Mahesh Kathuria, 50, a local businessman who came to see the calf, said: ‘God has taken birth from the body of a local cow. We came here to seek his blessings. Religiously, it is an avatar of Vishnu. We believe it’s a similar character mentioned in Bhagavata Puran, a Hindu religious text.’
Raja Bhaiya Mishra, 55, the manager of the cow shelter, said: ‘It’s a miracle that the calf was born in this shelter. Thousands of people have been here to see it. We will be cremating him in three days and a temple will be built for him. This avatar has most definitely created a devotion feeling amongst the people.’
Hundreds of people from surrounding villages came to pray after coming to see the dead calf
He added that the mother was rescued from a butcher and was brought to the shelter six months ago before she fell pregnant.
However, animal health experts have a different view on its birth and rubbishes any superstitions surrounding it.
Dr Ajay Deshmukh, senior veterinary doctor, at Wildlife SOS, in India, said: ‘This is a case of an anatomical anomaly. If a gene didn’t develop properly or there was a fault, it causes multiple structural deformities, and such anomalies happen. It has got only scientific reasons and explanations, there’s no superstitions here.’