JACKSON TOWNSHIP -- State police are investigating a case of ethnic intimidation in Monroe County.
Someone dumped a cow head at the home of a Hindu man over the weekend. Hinduism is a religion where the cow is a symbol of life and should never be killed.
None of the 20 or so cows at Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary near Tannersville was hurt. The severed head was left where the Hindu owner of the farm would find it, but he's not letting this taint what the sanctuary is all about.
Every day, the cows graze the fields at Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary, no matter their breed and no matter their age it's their home, their safe haven.
The sanctuary is Sankar Shastri's labor of love, a place where he can live in harmony with the cows according to the Hindu religion in which the sacred animals are symbols of life.
"If you like cows and show love and compassion then there's more love and compassion and you don't need war," he said.
The sanctuary has not been at its current location for much more than a month and already it's dealing with a case of ethnic intimidation. The folks who live and work on the farm wonder why someone would go to all that trouble.
"I just think it's kind of silly, people wasting their time. Imagine they took some effort in getting a cow head, bringing it here, had to go out of your way to do that," said volunteer Katherine Davis.
"I was shocked," added Shastri. "I said I hope this doesn't magnify anymore. I don't want to take it to the next side. I hope just a prank."
Shastri can't think of anyone who wold do something like this. The Lakshmi Cow Sanctuary had been a safe haven in the Bangor area for nearly 20 years before moving to the larger piece of land in Monroe County.
Now the sanctuary has a chance to educate folks about Hindu beliefs in spite of a disturbing deed.
"They probably didn't realize. People are unaware of what we're about," said Shastri.
The cow sanctuary is considering installing cameras, but hopes this story helps people become more aware of the importance of these animals to Hindus.
If you have any information about where the cow's head came from, you are asked to call state police.