A deformed calf born in the village of Pachenda, Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh is being hailed as an avatar of a God.
The calf was born with eyes, a nose and ears that resembled that of a human, prompting many people to believe that the calf is an incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu.
Unfortunately, the calf died shortly after being born and has since been placed on display in a glass case. A garland of yellow flowers has been placed around the calf’s neck and a plate for donations rests on top of the case. People have been flocking to see the calf, with local media reports saying that people have been donating religiously and there are plans to build a temple to honor the calf once it has been cremated.
The cow is considered a sacred animal in India, where Hinduism is widely practiced. Hundreds of people from local villages have come to see the calf and pay their respects. Video footage shows people bowing to the calf and laying garlands of flowers.
“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,” local businessman Mahesh Kathuria said.
Six months before the calf’s mother fell pregnant, she was rescued from a butcher and taken to an animal shelter in northern India.
“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,” said Raja Bhaiya Mishra, 55, the manager of the cow shelter. “This avatar has most definitely created a devotion feeling amongst the people.”
However, while many believe the calf is indeed a representation of the Hindu god Vishnu, Ajay Deshmukh of Wildlife SOS disagrees. Deshmukh told NaiDunia that the calf was merely a victim of birth defects.
“Sometimes in the womb, some organs of the body… are not fully developed, due to which they are born with a strange appearance or face,” Deshmukh said.