Mysterious sheep mutilations have been occurring in the Niali region of India, with over 180 animals being killed since last June. The afflicted sheep are reportedly found with their livers removed, and although government officials are blaming the attacks on a "mysterious animal", possibly wolves, all attempts at capturing the assumed creatures have failed, and following the report of two men being attacked, the region’s villagers are forced to keep watch through the night.
"On Thursday night, the mysterious creature had attacked two males in Baharana village. If any loss of human life is reported then administration will be responsible for it," according to Bharat Sahoo, a resident of Baharana villiage.
"In last two months, over 150 sheep have been killed in the area but government is yet to take up the matter seriously," says Mandakini Behera, also of Baharana, referring to a plague of sheep killings that occurred last June. Following a period of quiet, the killings resumed this month, with 27 animals succumbing over the course of November. "Forest minister is claiming that it is act of a pack of wolves but surprisingly they are not able to trap or trace the animals. People are spending sleepless nights in the area."
According to Odisha Forest minister Bijayshree Routray, the attacks could have been carried out by wolves, due to the discovery of paw-prints near the slain sheep. But to date, no-one has actually seen the attackers, and over 150 sheep were killed over a 60-day period. There is also the question of why only the liver is being taken from the animals: it would be extremely unusual for wolves to leave the rest of their prey untouched.
A number of websites are claiming that the killings resemble cases of classic cattle mutilations, including bloodless corpses being left with the organs having been removed with surgical precision, however the sites haven’t included the source of these details. False rumors and confabulations have also been circulating in both the region and on social media, meaning that some of the details reported in the case may or may not be factual.