When his chickens started disappearing a few weeks ago, a farmer in eastern India figured dogs or jackals were to blame — until he discovered his calf making a meal of his poultry.

Moloy, who uses only one name, and his 1-year-old calf have since become local celebrities, with the carnivorous cow appearing on television in India's West Bengal state and hundreds of people flocking to see them in Chandipur, a village 145 miles southwest of Calcutta, the state capital.

"To catch the culprit, Moloy got up very early ... and to his disbelief found that it was his calf which came out from the cow shed and was eating the chickens alive," Debjyoti Chatterjee, a local resident who filmed the calf eating a chicken, said Thursday.

The local veterinarian was at a loss for an explanation.

"I've never read or heard about cows turning carnivorous," said Mihir Tripathy. "They eat grass and other vegetarian food but not fish or other non-vegetarian stuff."