Reports of an unseen beast roaming the countryside throughout the rural eastern Indian state of Odisha has some villagers panicked and fearful for their flocks. India Today reports that over 150 sheep have been found dead and mutilated in and around the village of Niali over the past few months, sparking fears of aliens, demons, or even some unknown Chupacabra-like creature. While authorities believe a pack of wolves might be the culprit, the identity of the sheep killer remains unknown.
Rumors have been running rampant throughout the villages, fueled in part by hoax social media posts which depict alien-like creatures prowling near villages. Some accounts indicate that the mysterious animal is going only after the sheep's’ livers, but authorities insist these are unsubstantiated. There have even been a few reports that the creature has attacked humans, although these are unconfirmed.
Damodar Rout, the Animal Husbandry Minister for Odisha (what a weird position), says he has spoken with the area’s Chief District Veterinary Officer about the killings. According to Rout, the mystery beast has a particular taste for sheep, ignoring other livestock:
[We] suspect the killer of sheep to be a wild animal like wolf. The killing of sheep is true but the killer only taking away the liver of the sheep is false. I asked him why the killer is only killing sheep and not goats. He said that since goats have horns it’s not attacking them for they too can pierce it with their horns. He said that it has killed about 150 sheep and last night it too has attacked in four or five villages.
Local authorities are urging villagers to ignore rumors and are forming groups of volunteers, police, and members of local forestry departments to guard flocks at night. Sightings and rumors of the chupacabra have been spreading throughout the Western Hemisphere in recent months; could the legendary beast have made its way to India?